Billy Joel has paid tribute to Gordon Lightfoot with a heartfelt cover of his song ‘If You Could Read My Mind’.
The legendary Canadian folk singer-songwriter’s death was confirmed via his official Facebook page on May 2. “Gordon Lightfoot passed away this evening in a Toronto hospital at 7:30pm. More info to come,” the statement read. A cause of death has not been revealed at the time of publishing.
Joel then shared a video of himself playing Lightfoot’s 1970 hit ‘If You Could Read My Mind’ online, with the caption: “So sad to hear of the death of Gordon Lightfoot. He was a lifelong musical hero of mine. His songs were the heart of Canada. R.I.P.”
Many musicians and notable figures have paid tribute to the late icon. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shared a tweet that read: “Gordon Lightfoot captured our country’s spirit in his music – and in doing so, he helped shape Canada’s soundscape. May his music continue to inspire future generations, and may his legacy live on forever.”
Sex Pistols‘ Steve Jones also reposted his own cover of ‘If You Could Read My Mind’ from 2016 on Instagram in honour of Lightfoot’s passing. “Gordon Lightfoot, Lovely tune. Rip sir,” read the caption.
We have lost one of our greatest singer-songwriters. Gordon Lightfoot captured our country’s spirit in his music – and in doing so, he helped shape Canada’s soundscape. May his music continue to inspire future generations, and may his legacy live on forever. To his family,…
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) May 2, 2023
Lightfoot first broke onto the music scene in 1962 and would go on to be a stalwart in the folk-rock circuit, becoming responsible for some of the genre’s biggest hits over the next two decades.
Lightfoot’s music was celebrated by many, including Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Barbra Streisand, Harry Belafonte, Johnny Cash, Anne Murray and more, all of whom have covered Lightfoot’s songs.
Gordon Lightfoot received five Grammy nominations throughout his career and won 17 Juno awards. In 1986, Bob Dylan inducted Lightfoot into the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame at that year’s Juno Awards.
In other news, Joel recently performed his 1974 track ‘Los Angelenos’ live for the first time in over four decades.“We never do this song, we haven’t done this since the ’80s, I think. Let’s give it a shot,” Joel said after speaking about living in Los Angeles.
He is set to play this year’s 2023 BST Hyde Park festival in London later this summer with Daryl Hall as a special guest.