Gord Downie dead: The Tragically Hip lead singer dies aged 53

Polaris 2017 5 things you didn't know about Gord Downie's Secret Path

Downie's final live performance took place in the band's hometown of Kingston, Ontario in August 2016. The cause was terminal brain cancer.

Justin Trudeau became tearful on Wednesday as he paid tribute to Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie, a music superstar beloved for songs about culture, small towns and hockey.

A statement has been released attributed to the Downie family.

The city demonstrated its love for Downie a year ago when it set up giant screens in Gage Park to broadcast the Hip's final concert on CBC. "Have a #TragicallyHip day".

More than anything, I just want to say thank you, Gord - for the music and the memories. They released their thirteenth studio album, Man Machine Poem, in June 2016.

The band's greatest accomplishment, however, may be transcending their status as a key Canadian cultural touchstone to an integral part of the country's identity.

Gord Downie formed The Tragically Hip in 1984 alongside childhood friends Bobby Baker, Paul Langlois, Gord Sinclair and Johnny Fay.

"Gord restored the dignity and innocence of a little boy who only wanted to go home, and we have been humbled by his determination to share the story of Chanie and all of our youth who never made it home", Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler said of the Secret Path/Chanie Wenjack Fund project, which blurred the line between creative undertaking and social justice venture. They picked up their first Juno award - Most Promising Group of the Year - in 1990.

The group was a favorite across Canada for its mix of hard-swinging rock and Downie's allusive lyrics that remained focused on Canadian identity and issues even as the band saw global success.

He was also given an eagle feather, swaddled in a star blanket by Bellegarde and his wife and showered in gifts such as moccasins and blankets.

In 2005, The Tragically Hip was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and four years ago was featured on a Canadian stamp.

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