Legendary Singer-Songwriter Gordon Lightfoot Dies At 84

Gordon Lightfoot
Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Songwriters Hall Of Fame

Canadian singer-songwriter who wrote the iconic folk song “The Wreck of Edmund Fitzgerald,” Gordon Lightfoot, has died at the age of 84. He died of natural causes at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, just a few weeks after canceling his upcoming tour due to health issues.

Lightfoot is one of Canada’s best-known musicians. He first found huge success in the United States in 1970 with the song “If You Could Read My Mind.” Some of his other hits include “Sundown” and “Carefree Highway.” A 2020 documentary called Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind took a look into his influences, his life and career, and his prestigious awards.j

GORDON LIGHTFOOT: IF YOU COULD READ MY MIND, center: Gordon Lightfoot, circa 1970s, 2019

Greenwich Entertainment/Everett Collection

Although he’s been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, won many JUNO awards, earned Grammy nominations, and just last year earned the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement, he once said he never understood why he was called an icon.

Lightfoot said, “Sometimes I wonder why I’m being called an icon, because I really don’t think of myself that way. I’m a professional musician and I work with very professional people. It’s how we get through life.”


Greenwich Entertainment/Everett Collection

However, his music has stood the test of time and has been covered by artists such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Neil Young, and Barbra Streisand. Lightfoot is survived by his wife, Kim Hasse, and his six children from previous marriages and relationships, as well as several grandchildren.

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