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Folk-Pop Music Legend Gordon Lightfoot: Dead At 84

Folk-pop music icon Gordon Lightfoot has died. He was 84 years old.

Famous for such legendary hits as ‘If You Could Read My Mind’ and ‘The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,’ the Canadian-born artist passed away at a Toronto hospital on Monday evening (5.01.)

The musician death comes after his declining health caused him to cancel his tour three weeks prior, and the guitarist suffered from Bell’s palsy was placed in a coma after an artery in his stomach ruptured in 2002.

Revered by such music luminaries as Bob Dylan, Lightfoot’s songs were covered by Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand, Johnny Cash, and even punk rockers Jane’s Addiction.

Leading a cavalcade of tributes to the man who pioneered the folk-pop sound of the 1960s and 1970s, fellow Canadian Bryan Adams took to Instagram with a photo of his idol, writing:

“This one is really hard to write. Once in a blue moon you get to work and hang out with one of the people you admired when you were growing up. I was lucky enough to say Gordon was my friend and I’m gutted to know he’s gone. The world is a lesser place without him. I know I speak for all Canadians when I say: thank you for the songs Gordon Lightfoot. Bless your sweet songwriting heart, RIP dear friend.”

About Gordon, Bob Dylan once said: “I can’t think of any Gordon Lightfoot song I don’t like. Every time I hear a song of his, it’s like I wish it would last forever … Lightfoot became a mentor for a long time. I think he probably still is to this day.”

Gordon Lightfoot started his career singing in the church choir and had set his sights on jazz but after moving to Hollywood to study music, the singer/songwriter decided it wasn’t for him, and upon returning home, he played a few local gigs before landing his first hit in Canada with ‘I’m Not Sayin’.

Throughout his career, Gordon earned five Grammys and 17 Juno Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

In 1986, Lightfoot make news when he sued Whitney Houston’s producer and songwriter for pilfering 24 bars from ‘If You Could Read My Mind’ for her 1985 cover of George Benson’s ‘The Greatest Love of All’. However, he subsequently withdrew the lawsuit because he didn’t want it to impact on her health, later telling “I let it go because I understood that it was affecting Whitney Houston, who had an appearance coming up at the Grammy Awards, and the suit wasn’t anything to do with her.”

Married three times, Lightfoot was married three times, Gordon Lightfoot is survived his third wife, Kim Hasse and his six children.

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Author: Al Denté

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