Downie, who had an ongoing battle with brain cancer, was surrounded by family and friends Tuesday evening at the time of his passing.
On Wednesday, Canadians shared their heartfelt memories and condolences for the late singer, the Kingston, Ont., native who wrapped up the band’s final 15-stop summer tour in 2016.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said a few words of condolences Wednesday morning, praising his “buddy” and his ability to impact Canadians from coast to coast.
“Gord’s command of language was profound. He painted landscapes with his words, elevating Canadian geography, historical figures, and myths. When he spoke, he gave us goosebumps and made us proud to be Canadian. Our identity and culture are richer because of his music, which was always raw and honest – like Gord himself,” the prime minister said in a statement.
On Wednesday, dozens of Canadians celebrated Downie’s legacy on social media, including Canadian actors Seth Rogen and Ryan Reynolds.
Athletes as well as politicians praised Downie.
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Fellow musicians like k.d. lang also tweeted their condolences, as did Canadian TV stars.
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The outpouring of love for Downie and the band illustrates the impact The Hip has had on Canadians for its 30-plus-year run. Spanning decades, The Hip is unquestionably one of the biggest bands in Canadian music history.