Gord Downie Biography
Gord Downie born Gordon Edgar Downie was a Canadian rock musician, writer, and occasional actor born on 6 February 1964. Downie was the lead singer and lyricist for the Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip which he fronted from their formation in 1984 until his death in 2017..
He was born in Amherstview, Ontario, and raised in Kingston, Ontario where he befriended the musicians who would become The Tragically Hip. He attended the downtown Kingston high school Kingston Collegiate and Vocational Institute. He had released six solo albums: Coke Machine Glow in 2001, Battle of the Nudes in 2003, The Grand Bounce in 2010, And the Conquering Sun with The Sadies in 2014, Secret Path in 2016 and Introduce Yerself in 2017.
Gord Downie Career
He formed the Tragically Hip with Rob Baker, Johnny Fay, Davis Manning, and Gord Sinclair in 1983. Saxophone player Davis Manning left the band and guitarist Paul Langlois joined in 1986. Originally, the band started off playing cover songs in bars and quickly became famous once MCA Records president Bruce Dickinson saw them performing at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto and offered them a record deal.
The band has won over many fans through the incorporation of Downie’s stories and myths about life in Canada in his songs, and his wild antics and rantings on stage. He diverted from the band and started his solo career with the release of his album Coke Machine Glow in 2001. In 2003, Downie create a second solo album, Battle of the Nudes, before returning to the studio with the Tragically Hip. He released his third solo album in 2010, which is credited to Gord Downie and the Country of Miracles.
Downie had collaborated with fellow Canadian and international artists. His most famous Canadian collaborations are with Richard Terfry , Dallas Green of City and Colour and Alexisonfire, the Sadies and Fucked Up.
Terfry collaborated with Downie on the song Whispers of the Waves off the album 20 Odd Years. Terfry composed the track and with the help of Charles Austen, his co-writer, decided Downie’s vocals would be the best fit for their song. In his solo project City and Colour, Green had Downie sing on the track Sleeping Sickness off City and Colour’s hit album Bring Me Your Love. The album debuted at number 11 of the Top Heatseekers chart in March 2008. In 2014, he released an album with the Sadies called And the Conquering Sun which consisted of ten songs.
Downie and his brother Mike, along with the Wenjack family, announced the founding of The Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund to support reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples ,on 13 October 2016. The Fund is a part of Downie’s legacy and commitment to Canada’s First Peoples.Chanie Wenjack is a young boy who died trying to escape a residential school,who is at the centre of Downie’s Secret Path project. The Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund operates out of the Toronto Foundation.
At the Assembly of First Nations in Gatineau, Quebec on 6 December 2016, National Chief Perry Bellegarde honoured Downie with an eagle feather, a symbol of the creator above, for his support of the indigenous peoples of Canada. Bellegarde also bestowed on Downie an honorary aboriginal name, Wicapi Omani, which is Lakota for “man who walks among the stars.” Downie was appointed to the Order of Canada on June 21, 2017 in recognition of leadership in Indigenous issues.
Gord Downie Death | Gord Downie Brain Cancer
Downie died of brain cancer (Glioblastoma) on 17 October 2017, at the age of 53 in Toronto, Canada. He had an aggressive and incurable form of brain cancer called glioblastoma, which he discovered after a seizure in December 2015.
“Last night, Gord quietly passed away with his beloved children and family close by,” his family wrote in a statement. “Gord knew this day was coming – his response was to spend this precious time as he always had – making music, making memories and expressing deep gratitude to his family and friends for a life well lived, often sealing it with a kiss … on the lips.
“Gord said he had lived many lives,” they added. “As a musician, he lived ‘the life’ for over 30 years, lucky to do most of it with his high school buddies. At home, he worked just as tirelessly at being a good father, son, brother, husband and friend. No one worked harder on every part of their life than Gord. No one.”
Gord Downie Tribute
Gord Downie Family
Downie was the son of Lorna (Neal) and Edgar Charles Downie, a traveling salesman, later a real estate broker and developer. He had two brothers; Mike Downie and Patrick Downie.
Gord Downie Wife and Children
He was married to Laura Leigh Usher who is a cancer survivor. He had for children.
Gord Downie Net Worth
Downie was a great Canadian musician, writer, and actor who had a net worth of $10 million.
Gord Downie Shirt – T Shirt
Forever Hip. Tribute to Gord Downie by SpoonKirk
Gord Downie Painting
Gord Downie Canvas Print
Shop: Wall Art / Canvas Prints / Gord Downie Canvas Prints
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Gord Downie Secret Path
Secret Path is the fifth studio album by Gord Downie released on October 18, 2016. It is a concept album about Chanie Wenjack, a young Anishinaabe boy from the Marten Falls First Nation who died in 1966 while trying to return home after escaping from an Indian residential school. It is his final album and it has 10 songs.
It was accompanied by a graphic novel of the same name, written by Downie and illustrated by Jeff Lemire. The album won two Juno Awards at the Juno Awards of 2017, for Adult Alternative Album of the Year and Recording Package of the Year.
- The Stranger
- Swing Set
- Seven Matches
- I Will Not Be Struck
- Secret Path
- Don’t Let This Touch You
- Haunt Them, Haunt Them, Haunt Them
- The Only Place to Be
- Here, Here and Here
To get the songs lyrics click here.
Gord Downie Book
He had written two books; Coke Machine Glow published in 2001 and Secret Path published in 2016.
Gord Downie Quotes
- We want to bring good music to the people. That’s what it’s all about.
- I scored a gig as the lead singer with a school band … not necessarily for my singing ability but rather for my sheer memory power. I could memorize huge quantities of lyrics — mostly the Doors.
- I’m agile. I can play on the ass of an elephant. That’s the goal — then you can play anywhere.
- Music brings people together. So my function in anything I do is to help bring people closer in.
- I haven’t written too many political lyrics. Conversely, nor have I written any pro-Canada lyrics, any kind of jingoistic, nationalistic…. 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.
- We were just happy to be together, and that’s the way we’ve done everything.
- I have no illusions of the future. Or maybe it’s all illusion. I don’t know. I’ve always been ready for it.
- The longer that line stays on the paper, the heavier it gets, ‘til all of a sudden, if you’re trying to extract it, it weighs about 700 pounds.
- I write every day. I walk around in silent conversation with my latest unfinished songs.
- Bob Rock taught me a lot. His friendship has taught me a lot about what you should expect from a recording session and, more importantly, how you shouldn’t expect anything less than absolute joyousness. You should feel great. You should feel 14 to be doing it. It’s true and it’s rare.
Gord Downie Album
- Introduce Yerself
- Secret Path
- Gord Downie, The Sadies, And The Conquering Sun
- The Grand Bounce
- Battle of the Nudes
- Coke Machine Glow
Gord Downie Songs
- Ahead by a Century
- Fifty-Mission Cap
- Grace, Too
- Fiddler’s Green
- Nautical Disaster
- Long Time Running
- Wheat Kings
- Blow at High Dough
- New Orleans Is Sinking
- 38 Years Old
- At The Hundredth Meridian
- ‘It’s a Good Life If You Don’t Weaken’
- Little Bones
- Love Over Money
- Three Pistols
- Vancouver Divorce
- You Me And The B’s
- Wolf’s Home
- Locked In The Trunk Of A Car
- Seven Matches
- Coco Chanel No. 5
- My First Girlfriend
- The Only Place To Be
- Far Away And Blurred
- Safe Is Dead
- Faith Faith
- Born in the Water
- My Music at Work
- At Transformation
- Twist My Arm
Gord Downie News
Gord Downie named Canadian Press Newsmaker for 2nd consecutive year
Updated: Dec 19, 2017
Gord Downie only appeared in public a handful of times in 2017, but his calls for a more inclusive Canada resonated even in his absence.
Whether it was the poignant lyrics flowing through his recent albums or the heartfelt words he delivered in public, the Tragically Hip singer used every opportunity in his final months to speak out in support of Indigenous people in Canada.
Even after he died of brain cancer in October at age 53, Downie’s push for reconciliation continued to reverberate across the country.
His hope for a better Canada is one of the reasons editors and broadcasters say they selected him as Canada’s Newsmaker of the Year for the second straight time.
Downie collected 47 votes (53 per cent) in the annual Canadian Press survey of newsrooms across the country. The musician remains the only entertainer to receive the title in its 71-year history.
He’s also now among a select group of Canadians to be voted top newsmaker more than once. Others include former prime ministers Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau and activist athletes Terry Fox and Rick Hansen.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was second in this year’s poll with 11 votes (13 per cent), while new NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh finished third with 10 votes (11 per cent).
“Most Canadians don’t really care about politicians — but Gord Downie seems to have touched so many hearts,” wrote Christina Spencer, editor of the Ottawa Citizen’s editorial pages.
“Rarely have we mixed our tears of sadness and gratitude as we did for Gord Downie,” added Danny Kingsbury, national rock format director at Rogers Radio in Ottawa.
“His music and legacy and work with Indigenous communities will live on.”
Even though Canadians knew it was coming, news that Downie had succumbed to an incurable form of brain cancer on Oct. 17 left many stunned.
It almost seemed at times like he could do the impossible — somehow defy science to overcome his terminal diagnosis.
He surprised doctors and fans alike with his boundless determination during the 2016 Hip tour. At the rousing last concert in Kingston, Ont., Downie offered hints of his next vision. Speaking to the audience, he expressed the urgency of drawing more attention to the inequities faced by Indigenous people. He called on the prime minister to lead by example.