Canadian icon, Gord Downie, has passed away at 53. In December of 2015, the singer was diagnosed with aggressive and incurable form of brain cancer which would eventually take his life. Downie passed on Tuesday night, surrounded by friends and family.
"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," read the official statement.
"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."
Hip fans and the Canadian public discovered Downie's illness on May 24th of last year. That day, the rest of the Canadian rock group announced that they would head out on a last tour, "for Gord and for all of us." Paul Langlois, Rob Baker, Gord Sinclair, Johnny Fay and of course, Gord Downie completed a 15-show 'Man Machine Poem' tour, as Canadians around the country rallied around the singer - including Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.
Downie spent his final days raising awareness about indigenous issues and released an album called The Secret Path about 12-year-old Chanie Wenjack, who died of exposure after escaping a residential school. Downie was passionate about the indigenous community and making sure their stories were told.