This morning, October 18, 2017, iconic Canadian band The Tragically Hip tweeted that singer, songwriter, and poet Gord Downie passed away last night at the age of 53. In one of the first tweets about Gord Downie’s death, the band tweeted this message from the Downie family:
— The Tragically Hip (@thehipdotcom) October 18, 2017
Gord Downie had been living with a diagnosis of glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer without a known cure. He shared his condition with the world in May 2016. He chose to spend his remaining time performing for his fans on a final sold-out tour, and raising awareness and funds for glioblastoma research.
A Flood of Tweets about Gord Downie’s Death
It seems that the whole world is suddenly in shock and mourning, starting with an outpouring of grief from Canadian fans and friends on social media. Here are a few of the initial tweets about Gord Downie’s death.
Mike Smith, a.k.a Bubbles from the TV show Trailer Park Boys, who also just lost colleague John Dunsworth (Mr. Lahey) two days ago, had this to say about Gord Downie’s passing:
Gord Downie. Another brilliant, wonderful soul is gone. Deepest condolences to the family. RIP Gord. Thank you for everything you gave us. pic.twitter.com/nkJ1Uu6yxdAdvertisement
— Bubbles (@MSmithBubbles) October 18, 2017
Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto highlighted Downie’s role in raising awareness for glioblastoma, the brain cancer that likely had a role in his death:
Gord Downie’s legacy extends beyond his music. He raised unprecedented awareness for glioblastoma. Our condolences to his family & friends. pic.twitter.com/igl5dOqNAs
— Sunnybrook Hospital (@Sunnybrook) October 18, 2017
Popular Canadian sports host Tim Micallef tweeted these sad but proud words:
He not only touched, but inspired so many Canadians. May we all remember the characteristics that made Gord Downie a great Canadian. ???????????? pic.twitter.com/MLRQLrYBBz
— Tim Micallef (@tim_micallef) October 18, 2017
Canadian television host and radio personality, Jeff Marek, tweeted this:
Few Canadians touched this country like Gord Downie did. Condolences to his family and friends. RIP.
— Jeff Marek (@JeffMarek) October 18, 2017
Actor Seth Rogen kept it simple:
RIP Gord Downie. ????????
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) October 18, 2017
Among multiple tweets of mourning, the Mayor of Toronto announced on Twitter that they would be honoring the Canadian music icon in a unique way:
I’ve asked that the Toronto sign be lit in red & white today to honour Gord Downie. The sign will be dimmed tonight at 11 p.m. to mourn this great Canadian. #TragicallyHip
— John Tory (@JohnTory) October 18, 2017
Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, who knew Gord Downie personally, tweeted out his sorrowful words:
There will never be another one like you, Gord. Rest in peace my friend.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) October 18, 2017
The NBA’s Toronto Raptors also expressed their sadness over the loss of the national treasure that is Gordon Downie:
A Canadian Icon.
Rest in peace, Gord. pic.twitter.com/cLHgyhhSr7
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) October 18, 2017
Portrait of a Beloved Icon
These tweets about Gord Downie’s death are just the tip of the iceberg. The Tragically Hip singer/songwriter was much loved by the public and by his peers, in Canada and internationally, so we expect the outpouring of grief to grow.
RIP Gord Downie.