Photo: Tony Bock/Toronto Star
Tragically Hip's Gord Downie Dies At 53
Canadian rock icon Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip died Oct. 17 following a nearly two-year battle with brain cancer. He was 53 years old.
As the frontman of the popular alt-rock band the Tragically Hip, he and the group released 13 full-length studio albums during their three-decade career. Following 1987's self-titled EP, their run began with 1989's Up To Here. Most recently, they released 2016's Man Machine Poem, which topped the Canadian album chart. The Tragically Hip gave their final live performance in August 2016.
An integral band to Canada's music scene, the Tragically Hip earned many milestones. Their 2000 album, Music @ Work, won the Juno Award for Best Rock Album. In 2005 they were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame; the group was featured on a set of Canadian postage stamps in 2013. In July 2017 the band was honored with the Order of Canada.
Outside of his work with Tragically Hip, Downie also had an active solo career beginning with 2001's Coke Machine Glow and four subsequent albums. An active advocate for environmental rights and indigenous people, his 2016 release Secret Path — which included a 10-track album, graphic novel and animated film — was inspired by the tragic story of a young indigenous boy who died in 1966.
In September Downie announced his sixth solo album, a 23-track double LP titled Introduce Yourself. The set is scheduled to be released Oct. 27.
"Last night, Gord quietly passed away with his beloved children and family close by," his family wrote in a statement. "Gord knew this day was coming — his response was to spend this precious time as he always had — making music, making memories and expressing deep gratitude to his family and friends for a life well lived, often sealing it with a kiss."
— The Tragically Hip (@thehipdotcom) October 18, 2017