Gordon Lightfoot, a seasoned Canadian singer-songwriter, has passed away. He passed away at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on May 1st, in the evening.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the 84-year-old folk music and soft rock legend achieved international success. His longtime agent Victoria Lord announced Lightfoot’s passing, however she withheld the precise cause of death.
With “Sundown,” Lightfoot had the number-one song on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974. He also had “If You Could Read My Mind” and “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” in the top five. All three songs, along with “Carefree Highway” and “Rainy Day People,” peaked at No. 1 on the adult contemporary chart when he was at the height of his success in the mid-’70s.
Midway through the 1960s, Lightfoot gained notoriety for his compositions of folk standards like “Early Morning Rain,” “For Loving Me,” and “Ribbon of Darkness,” as well as the ambitious “Canadian Railroad Trilogy,” which could be considered a Northern counterpart to Mickey Newbury’s “American Trilogy.”
His 1970 Reprise debut album “Sit Down Young Stranger” featured the orchestral ballad “If You Could Read My Mind,” which peaked at No. 5 in the US charts. The album was later renamed after its hit and peaked at No. 12 in the country.
Early in the 1970s, Bell’s palsy-related facial paralysis rendered Lightfoot unable. He stopped drinking in 1982 due to a significant alcohol problem (“I was doing irrational things,” he told Rolling Stone), and he did so for more than 30 years. A ruptured abdominal aneurysm in 2002 resulted in a six-week coma, more surgery, and extended hospitalisation, but by 2004, he had finished a new record. He was unable to play the guitar for the greater part of a year in 2006 due to a mild stroke, but he eventually picked it up again on stage. Informed of his emphysema diagnosis in 2018, he stopped smoking.
In spite of his numerous health issues, the resilient artist toured well into his 80s and made extensive trips across the US and Canada from 2017 to 2019. His third wife, Kim Hasse, whom he married in 2014, two children from his first marriage to Brita Olaisson, two children from his second marriage to Elizabeth Moon, and two children from his previous two marriages’ partnerships all survive him.
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