Musician, poet, and Canadian icon Gord Downie, lead vocalist of Tragically Hip, has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer at the age of 52, CBC reports.
The band shared the “tough news” with fans on their website and Facebook page, stating that Downie was diagnosed in December of 2015, and that “he’s endured a lot of difficult times, and he has been fighting hard” ever since.
Despite the difficult news, the Kingston rock legends have decided to hit the road one more time this summer, “for Gord,” plotting “the best tour yet” to honour the special connection the band has with each other, and with their many fans.
Details on the tour have yet to be announced—dates and cities will be coming this week—and the Hip’s band manager will release more details regarding Gord’s illness at a press conference at Sunnybrook Hospital at 11 a.m. this morning.
Since forming in 1984, the Tragically Hip have played thousands of shows, released 12 albums, and earned 14 JUNO awards. From songs about northern Ontario cottage towns to hockey cards, the Hip will forever be a quintessential Canadian band, and a vital pillar of modern Canadiana.
Read the band’s full statement below, and do your duty as a true blue Canadian, and listen to Fully Completely today.
An Important Message From The Band:
Hello friends. 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