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Canada Is In Tears Over Gord Downie's Death

RIP.

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Friends and fans are offering condolences and sharing their best memories of Gord Downie after his family announced the Tragically Hip frontman's death.

Chris Wattie / Reuters

Downie was diagnosed with a terminal brain cancer almost two years ago. He was 53 years old.

Downie's family said he "quietly passed away with his beloved children and family close by."

"Gord knew this day was coming — his response was to spend this precious time as he always had — making music, making memories and expressing deep gratitude to his family and friends for a life well lived, often sealing it with a kiss... on the lips," read the family's statement, which was posted on the Tragically Hip website and social accounts.

Many people are mourning with the family today, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

There will never be another one like you, Gord. Rest in peace my friend.

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Speaking to reporters in Ottawa, Trudeau teared up remembering "our buddy Gord, who loved this country with everything he had."

In tears over Gord Downie, Trudeau says the most Canadian thing ever: "Our buddy Gord"

"We are less as a country without Gord Downie in it."

Fellow musicians are paying tribute to Downie. "It's a sad sad day for Canada and Canadian music," the band Rush said on Instagram.

Instagram: @rush

A Tribe Called Red's Ian Campeau shared a photo of himself with Downie, saying the news of Downie's death left him in tears.

Balling my eyes out listening to @cbcradioq. #ripGord

"Gord Downie never wasted a second," said Great Big Sea's Bob Hallett.

Gord Downie never wasted a second. I'm leaving this desk, going for a walk, write a poem, a song, see something, remember something.

Many are also expressing their gratitude. "It was our country's privilege to have known him and to have loved him," this fan said.

@thehipdotcom It was our country's privilege to have known him and to have loved him. My deepest sympathies to his family and friends. 🍁

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"So long, Gord. Thank you," tweeted Ryan Reynolds.

So long, Gord. Thank you. 🇨🇦 https://t.co/hFG1ujudez

"We were so lucky he chose to share his gifts with us."

The world was better for having Gord Downie in it. We were so lucky he chose to share his gifts with us. https://t.co/MCQ37EPu2q

Gord Downie, who spent the last months of his life pushing for reconciliation, is also being fondly remembered by many Indigenous leaders.

May he forever sing and dance among the stars reminding us all that love is reconciliation. https://t.co/qe84N0FqL8

"May he forever sing and dance among the stars reminding us all that love is reconciliation," said First Nations children's advocate Cindy Blackstock.

Perry Bellegarde, the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, hailed Downie as an ally and friend.

Our hearts break on news of the passing of Wicapi Omani, “Walks Among the Stars”, Gord Downie an ally & friend.

In an emotional ceremony last year, the AFN honoured Downie with the Lakota name Wicapi Omani, which means "walks with the stars."

'We always believe the star people… ones above us… look upon us here' Gord Downie's given name from Chiefs: ‘Man wh… https://t.co/rydr5cl6RP

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For three decades, Downie was the unofficial poet laureate of Canada.

His songs were the soundtrack of Canada.

Ishmael Daro is a social news editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Toronto.

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at ishmael.daro@buzzfeed.com.

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