Gordon Lightfoot
Gordon Lightfoot | Photo by Daniel Knighton/Getty Images

Folk Songwriter Gordon Lightfoot Has Died Aged 84

Canadian folk songwriter Gordon Lightfoot died at age 84 in a Toronto hospital on Monday evening. His death was confirmed by his publicist, as reported by CBC. No specific cause of death was revealed.

Lightfoot was renowned as one of the finest folk songwriters of his generation, named by Bob Dylan as a great inspiration and a “rare talent”. Most known for tracks like ‘Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald’ and ‘The Canadian Railroad Trilogy’, his songs were covered by numerous artists over the years, including Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand, Harry Belafonte, and Johnny Cash.

Gordon Lightfoot: ‘The Wreck of Edmund Fitzgerald’

Lightfoot’s career started in the late 1950s, and his first hit was ‘I’m Not Sayin’, released in 1965. The singer would go on to release numerous albums, earning himself five Grammy nominations and winning 17 Juno Awards (Canada’s Grammy equivalent). He was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1986.

Many artists including  Bryan Adams, Brian Wilson, and Jason Isbell have paid tribute to Lightfoot over the – Isbell labelled Lightfoot’s track ‘Carefree Highway’ a “masterpiece of honesty”.

Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau also released a statement paying tribute to Lightfoot, writing that Canada has 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,” Trudeau said. “May his music continue to inspire future generations, and may his legacy live on forever. To his family, friends, and many fans across the country and around the world: I’m keeping you in my thoughts at this difficult time.”

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