A look at the life and music of Gord Downie

A look at the life and music of Gord Downie

Downie died on Tuesday at age 53

Some facts about Gord Downie, frontman of the Tragically Hip, who died Tuesday at 53:

Born: Feb. 6, 1964 in Amherstview, Ont.

Raised: Kingston, Ont.

Early career: Founded the Tragically Hip in 1984 with three high school friends — guitarist Rob Baker, bassist Gord Sinclair and drummer Johnny Fay — and saxophonist Davis Manning, who played with the band until 1986. Guitarist Paul Langlois joined the group that same year. They began playing shows at local universities and Kingston dive bars.

Work beyond the Hip: Downie prioritized the Hip and it wasn’t until 2001 that he released a solo album, “Coke Machine Glow.” He would go on to release several other solo projects including the Juno Award-winning “Secret Path.”

Music collaborations: He worked alongside many other musicians, including Buck 65 (“Whispers of the Waves”), City and Colour (“Sleeping Sickness”) and a full album with the Sadies (“And the Conquering Sun”).

Social causes: Launched the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital, donated proceeds from sales of his “Secret Path” project to a reconciliation fund at the University of Manitoba, and was a board member of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper advocacy group.

Quote on his family: “They inspire everything. Everything I do, everything I eat, everything I don’t eat. You settle into the fact that you let these kids affect you in their great and positive ways, and that can only affect your work in great and positive ways.”