October 18, 2017 09:15 AM


Gord Downie, the lead singer for Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip, died Tuesday evening after a battle with brain cancer. He was 53.

The group announced the news via their website and Facebook page with a message from the rocker’s family.

“Last night Gord quietly passed away with his beloved children and family close by.

“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… on the lips.

“Gord said he had lived many lives. As a musician, he lived ‘the life’ for over 30 years, lucky to do most of it with his high school buddies. At home, he worked just as tirelessly at being a good father, son, brother, husband and friend. No one worked harder on every part of their life than Gord. No one. 

“We would like to thank all the kind folks at KGH and Sunnybrook, Gord’s bandmates, management team, friends and fans. Thank you for all the help and support over the past two years.

“Thank you everyone for all the respect, admiration and love you have given Gord throughout the years – those tender offerings touched his heart and he takes them with him now as he walks among the stars. 

“Love you forever Gord.”

Tony Bock/Toronto Star/Getty

Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau and Canadian celebrities Ryan Reynolds and Seth Rogen shared their condolences as news broke.

Downie was diagnosed with primary glioblastoma in December 2015, with the band revealing the news in May 2016, saying they’d continue to tour.

“After 30-some years together as The Tragically Hip, thousands of shows and hundreds of tours we’ve decided to do another one,” they said. “This feels like the right thing to do now, for God, and for all of us.”

While the band was never a mainstream act in the U.S., in their native Canada, they’ve had nine albums go to No. 1, and have received 14 Juno Awards, the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy.

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