Home Entertainment Folk Music And Soft Rock Icon Gordon Lightfoot Is Dead

Folk Music And Soft Rock Icon Gordon Lightfoot Is Dead


The 84-year-old folk music and soft rock icon rose to international fame as a folk music star in the 1960s and ’70s. Lightfoot’s death was confirmed by his longtime agent, Victoria Lord, but the immediate cause of death was not made public.

Veteran Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot  has died. He died on Monday evening, May 1, at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto. 

Lightfoot topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974 with ‘Sundown’ and also had top 5 songs with ‘If You Could Read My Mind’ and ‘The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.’ All three songs reached No. 1 on the adult contemporary chart, as did ‘Carefree Highway’ and ‘Rainy Day People,’ during his mid-’70s chart heyday.

Lightfoot rose to prominence in the mid-’60s, penning such folk standards as “Early Morning Rain” (a major hit for the Canadian folk duo Ian and Sylvia Tyson), “For Loving Me” and “Ribbon of Darkness,” as well as the ambitious “Canadian Railroad Trilogy,” a sort of Northern equivalent to Mickey Newbury’s “American Trilogy.

His 1970 Reprise debut “Sit Down Young Stranger” contained the No. 5 US hit “If You Could Read My Mind,” a heavily orchestrated ballad; renamed after its hit, the LP rose to No. 12 in America.

Facial paralysis from Bell’s palsy sidelined Lightfoot in the early ’70s. A serious problem with alcohol led him to quit drinking in 1982 (“I was doing irrational things,” he told Rolling Stone), and he remained abstemious for more than 30 years. In 2002, a ruptured abdominal aneurysm led to a six-week coma, extended hospitalization and further surgery, but by 2004 he had completed a new album. A minor stroke in 2006 led him unable to play the guitar for the better part of a year, but he returned to the instrument on stage. After being diagnosed with emphysema in 2018, he quit smoking, informed.

Despite this multitude of health problems, the indomitable musician continued to tour into his 80s, and undertook long US and Canadian treks from 2017 to 2019. He is s survived by his third wife Kim Hasse, whom he wed in 2014; two children from his first marriage to Brita Olaisson; two children by his second wife Elizabeth Moon; and two children from relationships between his first two marriages.

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