Tragically Hip Frontman Gord Downie Dies Aged 53

Lead singer of Canada's Tragically Hip Gordon Downie performs during Woodstock'99 Saturday

"For nearly five decades, Gord Downie uncovered and told the stories of Canada", Trudeau said.

The band issued a statement on Wednesday announcing the lead singer died quietly on Tuesday night while surrounded by his children and family.

Gord Downie was diagnosed with a terminal form of cancer known as glioblastoma after suffering a seizure in December 2015.

Continued the 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 on the lips". "And not just in a nebulous "Oh, I love Canada" way, he loved every hidden corner, every story, every aspect of this country that he celebrated his whole life".

The shocking news came with the bittersweet announcement that the band would set out on what would be its final national 15 date tour. "He showed the rest of the world that we are a place of unity and inclusion, which is good", said Smith.

"Thinking about the incredible Gord Downie and sending him and his family all of our love", wrote Blue Rodeo.

The city demonstrated its love for Downie past year when it set up giant screens in Gage Park to broadcast the Hip's final concert on CBC.

Downie's lyrics, steeped in Canadiana, explored the poor treatment of indigenous peoples, environmental causes and the plight of the wrongfully convicted. "But he gave the fans what they wanted to see and he seemed to give a great performance and so it took a lot of courage to go out there feeling I am sure the way he felt physically", said Sutton, who noted he is still moved by the Hip's 1998 hit Bobcaygeon. "So my function in anything I do is to help bring people closer in".

"If you're a musician and you're born in Canada it's in your DNA to like the Tragically Hip", Green said.

"[Trudeau] cares about the people way up north, that we were trained our entire lives to ignore, trained our entire lives to hear not a word of what's going on up there", Downie said.

As a tribute to Downie, London City Hall and other city facilities will be illuminated in red and white Wednesday night.

Downie's final solo album "Introduce Yerself" is scheduled to be released posthumously on October 27.

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