What a bittersweet occasion. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canadians gathered on Aug. 20 to say farewell to the band The Tragically Hip and its lead singer Gord Downie, also known as the country’s unofficial poet laureate, who is sadly dying. Get the touching details right here.
Gord Downie took the stage with The Tragically Hip for the final time on Aug. 20 at Rogers K-Rock Centre in Gord’s hometown of Kingston, Ontario, as he doesn’t have much longer to live. The 52-year-old singer revealed in May that he had been diagnosed with incurable brain cancer, which left fans devastated but inspired the band to do one last tour in Gord’s honor. The Kingston show was the last of the 15-date tour, with thousands of Canadians tuning into a live stream of the emotional show around the country…and around the world!
Of the 5,700 fans that had the opportunity to actually attend the show in Kingston, Justin Trudeau put his Prime Minister duties aside for a night and showed his love for Gord, even sporting a Tragically Hip t-shirt. The show lasted nearly three hours, with many tearful moments amidst the powerful final performance Gord gave. He couldn’t help himself from sobbing at the end of one song, also telling the crowd to “have a nice life” and kissing his bandmates to add to the heartbreaking farewells. So sad!
During his time with The Tragically Hip, Gord became well known for his glitzy suits and feathered hats, with his lyrics resonating with so many Canadians that he was deemed the unofficial poet laureate for his country. Although the band didn’t really gain fame in the United States, they were equivalent to the Rolling Stones and Pearl Jam’s popularity in Canada — making it all the more difficult for fans to say goodbye.
Justin has said that Gord is someone who has been “writing Canada’s soundtrack for more than 30 years,” according to the Washington Post. Whether the two have met is unclear, but Gord made sure to acknowledge the Prime Minister for showing his support for The Hip. Considering the PM made a point to be at The Tragically Hip’s final show, clearly Gord means a lot to the country!
HollywoodLifers, what do you think of Justin showing up to The Tragically Hip’s last concert? Are you a fan of the band? Tell us below!