It has been announced that Gordon Downie, frontman and co-founder of beloved Canadian alternative rock band the Tragically Hip, has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Downie, who has been the lead singer of the award-winning group since its inception in the early ‘80s, was reportedly given his diagnosis back in December, and has “endured a lot of difficult times” since then, as we can only imagine. Fans of the celebrated band, who have been active for more than 30 years and won 14 Juno Awards, will undoubtedly mourn the news of the musician’s illness and likely anticipate an impending dissolution of the veteran rock group.
However, the band has met this adversity with integrity and spirit. On the band’s website today, they released a statement:
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.
Downie, now 52, will participate in the tour despite health issues, and details including dates and locations will be released later in the week according to the statement. Downie not only founded the Tragically Hip in 1983 with fellow members Gord Sinclair and Rob Baker, but has also released several solo studio albums, collaborated with City and Colour and Buck 65, and is an environmental activist for water rights.
See the band’s full statement here and stay tuned for details regarding their summer tour. Meanwhile, check out a full 1999 concert from The Tragically Hip below.