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The Tragically Hip – A Nations Tragedy

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Sam Deleurme, A&E

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A Canadian rock band from Kinston, Ontario, The Tragically Hip took over the rock scene since their start in 1984. The band has released 14 studio albums, nine of them rising to number 1 on Canadian charts and have been awarded 16 Juno Awards, along with receiving several other Canadian music awards. Although, majority of the groups popularity rested in Canada and they never crossed over into the American music industry.

Gord Downie was the lead singer and songwriter for the band The Tragically Hip. Upon their formation, the group got a large following through Downie’s stories in song and his presence on stage. The singer would also take part in environmental, educational and Indigenous movements. His influences helped the causes immensely.

May 24, 2016, The Tragically Hip announced the terminal brain tumor diagnosis of Gord Downie. Upon the final show of the bands tour on August 20, 2016, the concert was streamed live by CBC; an estimated 11.7 people had tuned in to the event.

Downie passed away a little over a year later at the age of 53 on October 17, 2017 from the aggressive brain cancer, glioblastoma, his death was made public the following morning.

The news of the singers passing affected Canadians greatly, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau even put out a tribute statement and held a conference at Parliament Hill, regarding Downie’s passing.
All across Canada, Gord Downie was mourned. Prominent Canadian figures, such as Ryan Reynolds and Seth Rogan, expressed their sorrow through social media, along with many NHL teams, especially the Toronto Maple Leafs; commemorating the hit song “Fifty Mission Cap” by The Tragically Hip

Although the passing of Gord Downie was heartbreaking, it was an opportunity to further celebrate all he has done. He left a legacy of remarkable music, performances, and activism. Downie left an impressionable mark on Canadian culture, deep enough that he will never be forgotten.

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The Tragically Hip – A Nations Tragedy