Gord Downie Diagnosed with Terminal Brain Cancer

When I awoke this morning, the first thing I did was check email. The first email I read was my Tragically Hip newsletter. I'm looking for them to tour again because I want to take my teenaged son to see his dad's favourite band.

I couldn't believe my eyes. Here's what the email said.

Hello friends.

We have some very tough news to share with you today, and we wish it wasn't so.

A few months ago, in December, Gord Downie was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.

Since then, obviously, he's endured a lot of difficult times, and he has been fighting hard. In privacy along with his family, and through all of this, we've been standing by him.

So after 30-some years together as The Tragically Hip, thousands of shows, and hundreds of tours...

We've decided to do another one.

This feels like the right thing to do now, for Gord, and for all of us.

What we in The Hip receive, each time we play together, is a connection; with each other; with music and it's magic; and during the shows, a special connection with all of you, our incredible fans.

So, we're going to dig deep, and try to make this our best tour yet.

We hope you can come out and join us this summer - details and dates will be coming this week.

And we sincerely thank all of you, for your continued love and support,

Paul, GordD, Johnny, Rob, GordS

I was stunned. I've seen The Hip 11 times (all insanely documented here) and my Hallelujah hunt remains a personal highlight. The fact is you only have one favourite band and The Tragically Hip has been that to me for almost three decades.

Thank you, Gord.

The Hip @ Fort York

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Comments (17 - click here to join in!)

Rick C in Oakville

Terrible terrible news. Couldn't get more Canadian than the Hip.
Every summer sitting on the dock of my sisters cottage, the Wolf from Peterborough would have the Hip in their rotation through out the day, and it never got old.
52 and 4 kids is heart breaking.

May 24, 2016 @ 9:30 AM


Terrible news to wake up to. Love the hip, the way they tell stories with their songs is amazing.

Fuck cancer

May 24, 2016 @ 10:08 AM

The Voice of Reason

Take care Gord, you can defeat this.

I just had a debate this past weekend with a friend who stated that The Bare Naked Ladies passed The Hip years ago as Canada's band.

May 24, 2016 @ 10:47 AM


I'll be right there beside you at that upcoming concert. Gord will hopefully hear from the fans how much his music is beloved.

May 24, 2016 @ 10:48 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@The Voice of Reason

The Bare Naked Ladies are Canada's band for Americans.

Canada's band for Canadians is still the Tragically Hip, and it's not even close.

May 24, 2016 @ 10:49 AM

The Voice of Reason


I concur.

May 24, 2016 @ 10:52 AM


Are the Bare Naked Ladies still the Bare Naked Ladies? LOL

Hit is and always will be Canada Band...they even beat out Rush...and that isn't exactly easy.

May 24, 2016 @ 11:16 AM


My wife and I watch the movie "One Week" every year around Canada Day. Arguably the most Canadian movie ever made. Gord Downie has a cameo, playing a cancer survivor who, ironically, gives comfort to the main character, who is dying of cancer. It's going to be tough to watch this year.

May 24, 2016 @ 11:41 AM

James Edgar

Devastated to see this news this morning. The Hip are one of my favourite bands , Gord's lyrics have made my life measurably better when things have been going wrong.

Not only that I was witness to one of my best friends daughter going through the same thing. Diagnosis, fight ,get better , setback , fight ,get better , setback , fight ,get better , setback until the end. She was only 24.

May 24, 2016 @ 1:20 PM


What a lousy punch to the gut today's news was. Thoughts are with Gord, his family, and all who know him or have been touched by him and his art.

There are two bands that define Canadian music for me - Spirit of the West and the Hip. SOTW has gone through their well-documented travails over the past 18 months or so, as their lead singer battles Alzheimers much too young, and now Gord Downie is taking on a battle of his own after almost three decades of service in defining what it means to be Canadian.

Great to hear that Gord and the boys are planning to blow the doors off this summer, one more time.

May 24, 2016 @ 5:32 PM


@Mike & many others

You all must be devastated with this terrible news. The Hip were not a band I followed as only liked a few songs, however their Canadian presence in performing is 2nd to none, especially Gord.
His lyrics about many Cdn. subject spoke about what Canada is all about.

Music lives on & Gord & the Hip can still make a difference.

May 24, 2016 @ 6:27 PM


I too was shocked and saddened by the news. Terrible for his family and the band.
I remember visiting my brother at Queen's in Kingston back in 1983 and my brother's roommate insisting we go see this "great local band". It was on the 2nd floor of a smallish restaurant/bar off Princess and saw the Hip for the 1st time. This is back when they had a saxophonist. I was impressed but I had no idea that this weird band would become one of the best (if not the best) Canadian bands ever.

May 25, 2016 @ 4:06 PM


How Cool would it be to get Gord on your pod cast :)

May 26, 2016 @ 3:38 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


With this news, I wouldn't even ask him.

If he's going to do an interview with anyone, I'd bet it's with Strombo.

May 26, 2016 @ 3:48 PM


Sorry for being on the opposite side of this everyone, but thousands of people are diagnosed with brain cancer & don't survive. Why is Downie any different? & why announce it then say we're going to go on tour one last time. Smells too much of a marketing scheme, This band don't need to use Downies misfortune, they are too good for that.

& to have a press conference with the docs. This reeks. If you want to go on tour, then do so then after the tour you can disclose it.

Its like, look, I am going to die, come see one last time & you know many people are going to do just that. Is it the No Sympathy Tour or Sympathy Tour?

May 26, 2016 @ 7:55 PM



Go away & live under a rock. Comment is inappropriate & negative.
BTW Elvis left the building & so should U.

May 26, 2016 @ 8:37 PM

James Edgar

I managed to get Floor seats for the August 10th ACC show in the fan club presale this morning.

I NEVER get great seats doing the best available thing on ticketmaster so i'm quite surprised and Very happy.

May 30, 2016 @ 11:06 AM

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