Folk Singer-Songwriter Gordon Lightfoot Dies At Age 84

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Gordon Lightfoot’s Songs & Influence Crossed Genres

Gordon Lightfoot, the Canadian singer-songwriter behind many iconic songs, has died.

While Lightfoot was primarily known as a folk artist, his music often crossed genres. For example, he wrote the song “Ribbon of Darkness,” which Marty Robbins recorded. Robbins turned the song into a #1 country hit.

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YouTube video

Other than “Ribbon of Darkness,” some of Lightfoot’s most recognizable songs were “Early Mornin’ Rain,” “Black Day in July,” “Steel Rail Blues,” and “Rainy Day People.”

Lightfoot also wrote and recorded the famous song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” The devastating tune tells the real-life tale of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, which sunk on Lake Superior on November 10, 1975.

The song was recorded by Lightfoot in December of that same year. It was released in August of 1976, and reached the #2 spot on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100. The song also claimed the 50th spot on the Hot Country Singles chart.

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On top of all of that, Lightfoot’s songs were recorded by popular artists from all genres. Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams Jr., Bob Dylan, Harry Belafonte, Olivia Newton-John, and the Grateful Dead are just a few of the many artists who recorded Lightfoot’s work.

Gordon Lightfoot Dies After Calling Off Upcoming Shows

Lightfoot remained active as a performer until the near end of his life. He canceled his upcoming performances a few weeks before his death, citing his health as the reason.

His longtime publicist, Victoria Lord, shared the news that Lightfoot passed away on Monday (May 1). There was also an official statement released on his Facebook page.

The statement read:

“It is with profound sadness that we confirm that Gordon Meredith Lightfoot has passed away. Gordon died peacefully on Monday, May 1, 2023 at 730 p.m. at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto.” The statement noted that Lightfoot died of natural causes at the age of 84. “He is survived by his wife Kim Hasse, six children– Fred, Ingrid, Eric, Galen, Miles and Meredith, as well as several grandchildren.”

Our hearts go out to Lightfoot’s loved ones during this sad time. He will be missed…

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