Canadian-born singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot passed away aged 84. He became famous during the 60s and the 70s with hits such as Early Morning Rain and If You Could Read My Mind. According to a statement shared on his official Facebook page, he died of natural causes at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Monday, May 1.
Throughout the years, many of his songs were covered by the big names of the music scene including Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Barbra Streisand.
Following his passing, tributes came poring in. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke of Lightfoot as one of the best and most recognized musicians of the country.
“Gordon Lightfoot captured our country’s spirit in his music – and in doing so, he helped shape Canada’s soundscape,” he said on Twitter. “May his music continue to inspire future generations, and may his legacy live on forever.”
“I can’t think of any Gordon Lightfoot song I don’t like,” Bob Dylan once said. “Everytime I hear a song of his, it’s like I wish it would last forever…. Lightfoot became a mentor for a long time. I think he probably still is to this day.”
Lightfoot’s funeral was held at the Orilla church, where he had participated in the choir as a young man, and according to his family, it was what musician wished. Blair Bailey, director of the St. Paul’s choir, told CTV News that “he is the one who wanted it to be here, in this church that he grew up in.” His funeral was attended by his closest family and friends but the public had the chance to pay their condolences at a public viewing on Sunday.
During the viewing, the fans were deeply touched by a very special and quite emotional moment. Taurus, the dog of one of the band’s members, wouldn’t leave the casket’s side.
“He used to go on the road with him and wait for Gordon side stage,” Lightfoot spokeswoman Victoria Lord told Newsner. “Gordon loved dogs.”
Lightfoot and Taurus formed a special bond throughout the years and the late musician was known as a huge animal lover.
As a tribute to Lighfoot, President of the Mariposa Folk Foundation announced that the main stage at Mariposa would be renamed the Lightfoot Stage. “Gordon was such a huge supporter of the Mariposa Folk Foundation that we wanted to find a way to honour his memory,” Carter said. “It needed to be something lasting. We could have had artists come up and present tonight, but we wanted to leave something. So, naming it the Lightfoot Stage will live on forever and will always keep Gord in our memories.”
May he rest in peace.
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