Gord Downie, (52), has been the lead singer of the Tragically Hip, one of the greatest Canadian rock band for three decades. This morning he announced that he has terminal brain cancer, but despite this, he will still join the band for a summer tour, dates for which are still to be announced.
The band officially released a statement on their website:
We have some very tough news to share with you today, and we wish it wasn’t so.
A few months ago, in December, Gord Downie was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.
Since then, obviously, he’s endured a lot of difficult times, and he has been fighting hard. In privacy along with his family, and through all of this, we’ve been standing by him.
So after 30-some years together as the Tragically Hip, thousands of shows, and hundreds of tours…
We’ve decided to do another one.
This feels like the right thing to do now, for Gord, and for all of us.
What we in the Hip receive, each time we play together, is a connection; with each other; with music and it’s magic; and during the shows, a special connection with all of you, our incredible fans.So, we’re going to dig deep, and try to make this our best tour yet.We hope you can come out and join us this summer – details and dates will be coming this week.
And we sincerely thank all of you, for your continued love and support,
Paul, GordD, Johnny, Rob, GordS.
Formed in 1983 in Kingston, Ontario, the band consists of Downie (lead singer), Rob Baker (lead guitar), Paul Langlois (rhythm guitar), Gord Sinclair (bass guitar) and Johnny Fay (drums).
In 1987 they released an EP which was self entitled, but it wasn’t until the release of their first full album Up to Here, which included one of the band’s most popular songs New Orleans Is Sinking, that the band started to gain true notoriety. Since then, they have released 12 more including the acclaimed Road Apples, the band’s first album to reach number 1 and has in fact since then been certified 8x platinum in Canada.
Quoted as “The best lyricist in Canada today”, Downie is one of a unique breed of charismatic front men which has helped The Hip to win 14 JUNO’s and an induction into the Canadian Hall Of Fame in 2005.
One of Downie’s great loves, as he told the CBC, is performing for the band’s legion of fans, and he has helped the band fill arena size venues and gain heavy radio play across Canada. Their latest new studio album Man Machine Poem is due for release 17th June and is available on pre-order.
“Enjoy those one-night moments. We’ll only be here tonight, this bunch of us in this room, let’s try and find some point of transcendence and leap together.” – Gord Downie, 2006.