|Birth Day:||February 6, 1964|
|Death Date:||Oct 17, 2017 (age 53)|
|Birth Place:||Kingston, Canada|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
As per our current Database, Gordon Downie died on Oct 17, 2017 (age 53).
He attended Kingston Collegiate and Vocational Institute, where he met his bandmates.
In 1984, Downie formed The Tragically Hip with, Rodents's members, Rob Baker and Gord Sinclair, another younger, Kingston Collegiate and Vocational Institute alumni, Johnny Fay, and saxophonist Davis Manning. In 1986, Manning left the band as guitarist-vocalist Paul Langlois joined. Originally, the band played cover songs in local 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.
Gordon Downie was born in Amherstview, Ontario, and raised in Kingston, Ontario, along with his brothers Mike and Patrick, and sisters Charlyn and Paula. He was the son of Lorna (Neal) and Edgar Charles Downie, a travelling salesman, later a real estate broker and developer. In Kingston, Downie attended the downtown high school Kingston Collegiate and Vocational Institute, where other members of The Tragically Hip also attended. In high school, Downie was the frontman for a band called the Slinks performing at the KCVI Variety show and rivaling older members Rob Baker and Gord Sinclair's band the Rodents. After graduating high school, Downie attended Queen's University where he majored in film studies, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts and Science in 1986.
Downie began pursuing a solo career with the release of Coke Machine Glow in 2001. He published his first poetry and prose collection alongside the album and under the same title. The backing musicians, credited as the Goddamned Band, consisted of indie rock band the Dinner Is Ruined, Josh Finlayson of Skydiggers and singer-songwriter Julie Doiron. He released his second solo album, Battle of the Nudes, in 2003 before returning to the studio with the Tragically Hip. His third solo effort, The Grand Bounce, was released in 2010. Both it and Battle of the Nudes are credited as Gord Downie and the Country of Miracles.
In addition to his solo works, Downie collaborated with several fellow Canadian and international artists. His most famous Canadian collaborations are with Richard Terfry (better known as Buck 65), 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 2008, Downie appeared as a guest vocalist on City and Colour's single "Sleeping Sickness". In 2014, Downie released an album with the Sadies called And the Conquering Sun. He commented on working with the Sadies, saying, "I enjoy getting together with those guys; it's a whole other universe. They're writing all the music and I'm writing all the lyrics and we're coming up with some neat stuff. You do it for the company but I'm genuinely shocked by the themes and things you touch based on the music you're singing to. That's really compelling to me." The album consists of ten songs.
Downie had cameo appearances in Men with Brooms, in which the Tragically Hip play a curling team. Downie also made a cameo appearance in the 2008 indie drama Nothing Really Matters, directed by Jean-Marc Piché. Downie also appears in the Trailer Park Boys movie The Big Dirty, in which he and Alex Lifeson play a pair of police officers. More recently, he and other members of the band appeared in the episode of Trailer Park Boys entitled "Say Goodnight to the Bad Guys", in which he is harassed while eating a bologna sandwich at a singles dance. Downie was also featured in the sitcom Corner Gas in the episode "Rock On!" in which the Tragically Hip are shown as a local band practising in the main character's garage. Colin James is also featured in the episode. Downie also appeared in Michael McGowan's 2008 film, One Week. A documentary film, Long Time Running, about the Tragically Hip's summer 2016 cross-Canada farewell concert tour, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2017.
In February 2012 in Fort Albany, Ontario, Downie and the Tragically Hip played at the Great Moon Gathering, a yearly educational conference that takes place in various communities along Northern Ontario's James Bay coast. Its focus is on youth learning and combining Cree education with the contemporary world. The venue was small and not typical of the band. Author Joseph Boyden, who invited them, said their motivation was to "initiate a guerrilla act of love for a people who are so thoroughly underrepresented but now, somehow, overexposed for only their shortcomings. A guerrilla act of love to show the rest of the country what strength and artistry, grace and humour the Cree possess." In addition to the Tragically Hip's performance, Downie sang a song with a local band, Northern Revolution. The song "Goodnight Attawapiskat" from the album Now for Plan A was a result of this trip.
Also in 2014 Downie appeared as a guest vocalist on "The Art of Patrons", a song from Fucked Up's album Glass Boys.
In December 2015, shortly after attending his father's funeral, Downie was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour. The Tragically Hip announced his diagnosis on their website on May 24, 2016. Doctors at Toronto's Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre confirmed the same day that it was a glioblastoma, which had responded favourably to radiation and chemotherapy treatment but was not curable.
Downie was married to Laura Leigh Usher, herself a breast cancer survivor. They had four children. Downie and Usher separated in 2015 before Downie's cancer diagnosis.
On October 13, 2016, 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. The fund is a part of Downie's legacy and commitment to Canada's First Peoples. Chanie Wenjack was a young indigenous boy who died trying to escape a residential school, who became the centre of Downie's Secret Path project. The Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund is a registered charity.
At the Assembly of First Nations in Gatineau, Quebec, on December 6, 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".
In May 2016, Downie and his bandmates received honorary degrees from Queen's University. Downie was not able to attend the ceremony due to his illness which had not yet been made public.
On December 22, 2016, Downie was selected as The Canadian Press' Canadian Newsmaker of the Year and was the first entertainer selected for the title. In December 2017, Downie was again named Canadian Newsmaker of the Year for the second year in a row, in recognition of the public reaction to his death.
Downie toured with the band in summer 2016 to support Man Machine Poem, the band's 13th studio album. The tour's final concert was held at the Rogers K-Rock Centre in Kingston, Ontario, on August 20 and was broadcast and streamed live by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on television, radio and internet. It was viewed by an estimated 11.7 million people.
In September 2016, Downie announced he would release a new solo album, Secret Path in October. The album was accompanied by a graphic novel on which he collaborated with Jeff Lemire, and an animated television film which aired on CBC Television. He also performed a few live shows to support the album, with supporting musicians Kevin Drew, Charles Spearin, Dave Hamelin, Kevin Hearn and Josh Finlayson.
On February 2, 2017, Downie joined Blue Rodeo onstage at Massey Hall for a performance of Blue Rodeo's song "Lost Together". This marked his last public appearance before his death.
Downie took to Parliament Hill on July 2, 2017, to speak out for Canada's young Indigenous people, likening it to the same kind of pain young people suffered in the now defunct residential schools.
Downie, along with his Tragically Hip bandmates, was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada on June 19, 2017, for "their contribution to Canadian music and for their support of various social and environmental causes".
In December 2017, Percy Hatfield, the Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) representing Windsor—Tecumseh introduced the bill Poet Laureate of Ontario Act In Memory of Gord Downie to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. It was passed in December 2019, establishing the Poet Laureate of Ontario.
The tour was profiled in the 2017 documentary film Long Time Running, directed by Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier. The final concert was released on DVD under the title A National Celebration on December 24, 2017.
In September 2017, Downie announced what would be his final solo double-album titled Introduce Yerself; it was released on October 27, 2017, ten days after Downie's death.
Downie died of glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer, on October 17, 2017, at the age of 53 in Toronto. The surviving members of the Tragically Hip made the news of his death public the next morning, by sharing an official statement from his family on their website:
At the 6th Canadian Screen Awards in 2018, Downie posthumously won two Canadian Screen Awards for the television version of Secret Path. The program won the Donald Brittain Award for Best Political or Social Documentary Program and Best Music in a Non-Fiction Program. At the 7th Canadian Screen Awards in 2019, two additional awards were won by Gord Downie's Secret Path in Concert, the CBC Television broadcast of Downie's 2016 Roy Thomson Hall performance of the album.
In 2018, two additional recordings by Downie, "The East Wind" and "At the Quinte Hotel", were released on the compilation album The Al Purdy Songbook. A different recording of "The East Wind" appeared on The Grand Bounce, and "At the Quinte Hotel" was previously released in video form, but never previously in an audio recording.
In June 2020, the Tragically Hip and manager Jake Gold announced that they were undertaking an "archaeological dig" to select music and memorabilia from the band's archives for future release.
Gordon is the godson of former Boston Bruins GM and coach Harry Sinden.
Currently, Gordon Downie is 58 years, 9 months and 28 days old. Gordon Downie will celebrate 59th birthday on a Monday 6th of February 2023. Below we countdown to Gordon Downie upcoming birthday.
In Honour of Gord Downie's 56th Birthday, Some of The Tragically Hip Frontman's Finest Moments - K-ROCK 105.7
In celebration of what would have been Gord Downie’s 56th birthday, here are some of his finest moments.