Gord Downie, singer with Canadian band Tragically Hip, has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.
The band have released 13 albums, nine of which have reached number one in Canada, while Downie has also released three solo albums.
Tragically Hip will continue their upcoming tour this summer, booked on the back of new album ‘Man Machine Poem’, which comes out on June 17.
A statement says: “This feels like the right thing to do, for Gord and for all of us. So we’re going to dig deep and try to make this the best tour yet.”
Downie was diagnosed with an inoperable form of brain cancer, glioblastoma, last December. The band’s statement said: “Since then, Gord has obviously endured a lot of difficult times, and he has been fighting hard. In privacy with his family, and through all of this, we’ve been standing by him.”
Downie’s doctor, James Perry, said the 52-year-old singer had undergone six weeks of radiohtherapy and chemotherapy. Perry refused to give a timeline on Downie’s future, saying: “For most of my patients, it’s daunting to reveal your diagnosis, let alone when they’re a national treasure.”
Since forming at school in Ontario in the 1980s, The Tragically Hip have become known for documenting Canadian life and culture. Downie said in a 2012 interview: “I love this country. I love this idea of my country.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid tribute to Downie, saying: “Gord Downie is a true original, who has been writing Canada’s soundtrack for more than 30 years.”