Gord Downie: 5 Years Since His Passing

October 17, 2022, marks the fifth anniversary of Gord Downie’s passing. He was the lead singer of the Canadian band The Tragically Hip. 

Gord Downie formed the famous well-band The Tragically Hip in 1984. They got discovered by Bruce Dickinson at The Horshoe Tavern in Toronto, Ontario. They had 13 studio albums and one live record. Their music was bold and dynamic. There was diversity in their subjects, including issues such as the environment – a cause to which Downie was devoted. Gord Downie’s voice was phenomenal. He sang with passion, heart and soul. He performed those tunes with understanding. Two songs left an impression on me when I heard them: Poets and Montréal ( a piece paying tribute to the 14 women who passed away on December 6, 1989, from the Polytechnique tragedy). The group was around till August 16, 2016, due to Gord Downie’s health situation.

In 2001, Gord Downie started a solo career full of poetry and prose. He was just as incredible on his own as with The Tragically Hip. He also sang about subjects that were close to his heart. His music career had a rich blend of musical styles, like Rock combined with Folk. Some of his famous hits include The Stranger, Vancouver Divorce, and Chancellor. He had seven albums as a solo artist.

Besides music, Gord Downie was also a philanthropist. He was devoted to many causes, such as the environment and fighting injustice towards Indigenous people. Gord Downie got an eagle feather, a symbol of the creator above, from National Chief Perry Bellegarde on December 6, 2016. Downie received various awards for it, including The Canadian Press’s Canadian Newsmaker of the Year; one with The Tragically Hip, then another posthumously in December 2017. On June 19, 2017, he became appointed Member of the Order of Canada.

Gord Downie leaves behind an incredible legacy, both in music and philanthropy. 

Rest in Peace, Gord Downie.

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