This morning, 14-time Juno Award winning Canadian rock band the Tragically Hip announced via their website and social media pages that lead singer Gord Downie (second from left) has terminal brain cancer. Since his diagnosis in December, “he’s endured a lot of difficult times, and he has been fighting hard,” the band wrote. “In privacy along with his family, and through all of this, we’ve been standing by him.”
The band, formed in 1984, held a press conference with the neuro-oncologist who is treating Downie, in an effort to explain the diagnosis and treatment plan. But then, it’s back to the music. “Following today’s announcements, there will be no interviews granted pertaining to matters of health,” the press release reads. “No further statements clarifying status, condition, or progress will be issued to underscore what is already evident: the music will stand to answer all.”
The band, will release their 14th studio album, Man Machine Poem, on June 17th. And that’s not all. “After 30-some years together as the Tragically Hip, thousands of shows, and hundreds of tours…We’ve decided to do another one,” the band revealed. “This feels like the right thing to do now, for Gord, and for all of us… we’re going to dig deep, and try to make this our best tour yet.”
Downie has already received an outpouring of support from fans on social media, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who tweeted, “Gord Downie is a true original who has been writing Canada’s soundtrack for more than 30 years. #Courage”
Stay tuned for an announcement about the upcoming tour, and head to the Tragically Hip’s website to read the band’s full statement.