Canadian rock group the Tragically Hip announced Tuesday that lead singer Gord Downie has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Despite the condition, the Hip, with Downie in tow, have revealed plans to embark on another tour in the near future.
“Since [his diagnosis], obviously, he’s endured a lot of difficult times, and he has been fighting hard. In privacy along with his family, and through all of this, we’ve been standing by him,” the band wrote on their website. “So after 30-some years together as the Tragically Hip, thousands of shows, and hundreds of tours … We’ve decided to do another one. This feels like the right thing to do now, for Gord, and for all of us.
“What we in the Hip receive, each time we play together, is a connection; with each other; with music and its magic; and during the shows, a special connection with all of you, our incredible fans,” the band added. “So, we’re going to dig deep, and try to make this our best tour yet.”
The Tragically Hip will unveil their tour dates later in the week. The 14-time Juno Award-winning group – the most ever for a band and the fourth-most ever for an artist at the annual Canadian music awards – remain a beloved marquee act in their native country, with their new album Man Machine Poem due out June 17th. Over the course of their 30-year career together, the band has released 13 studio LPs, eight of which topped the Canadian Albums Chart.
According to the band, Downie learned about his conditions “months ago”; the Toronto Star reports that the singer received his diagnosis in December. On Tuesday morning at 11 am ET, Dr. James Perry, the neuro-oncologist treating Downie, will hold a press conference in Toronto to discuss the singer’s condition and treatment going forward.
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“Following today’s announcements, there will be no interviews granted pertaining to matters of health,” the band said in a statement. “No further statements clarifying status, condition or progress will be issued to underscore what is already evident: the music will stand to answer all.”