Canada's Tragically Hip singer Gord Downie dies at 53

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Canada may have lost one of its most beloved musical icons with the passing of Gord Downie, but the frontman of The Tragically Hip is also being remembered as a passionate advocate for Indigenous rights and reconciliation.

Born Gordon Edgar Downie in Amherstville, Ont., on February 6, 1964, Downie grew up in Kingston, Ont. where he befriended musicians who would eventually become his Tragically Hip bandmates. "But we hoped it wasn't".

"For nearly five decades, Gord Downie uncovered and told the stories of Canada", Trudeau said.

During his final show, Downie called out to Mr Trudeau, who was at the concert, to help fix problems in Canada's indigenous communities.

Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has broken down in tears as he paid tribute to the lead singer of rock band Tragically Hip on national television. And he wanted to make it better, " Trudeau said in Ottawa.

Downie's lyrics, steeped in Canadiana, explored the poor treatment of indigenous peoples, environmental causes and the plight of the wrongfully convicted.

"We're in good hands folks, real good hands".

"Honouring arguably the greatest frontman in Canada rock "n" roll history in our own little way is something most citizens will very much appreciate", said Jason Farr, Ward 2 councillor.

"Our buddy Gord, who loved this country with everything he had, and not just loved it in a nebulous 'oh, I love Canada way, ' he loved every hidden corner, every story, every aspect of this country that he celebrated his whole life".

"It's always been a desire of mine to play with him at some point, but they're incredibly influential to anyone Canadian who has picked up a musical instrument, there's no question about it", Clement said. That stuff doesn't interest me and I don't even know if I could write that if I tried because I don't really feel it. "I think he matters that much to Canadians".

Downie's interest in First Nations advocacy came to the fore during the past year of his life, aided by Secret Path, but he previously wrote numerous The Tragically Hip songs that concerned themselves with First Nations issues, including Now the Struggle Has a Name (2009) and Goodnight Attawapiskat (2012).

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