Gord Downie, the poetic lead singer of the Tragically Hip whose determined fight with brain cancer inspired a nation, has died, according to a statement on the band’s website. He was 53. In the wake of his diagnosis with glioblastoma an incurable form of cancer the musician became a symbol of perseverance in the face of his mortality. He spent the last chapter of his life raising funds for brain cancer research and advocating for the rights of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples. One of the country’s most revered singer-songwriters, Downie penned a steady stream of 1990s rock radio staples including “New Orleans Is Sinking,” “Blow at High Dough,” “Courage,” “Ahead By a Century” and “Bobcaygeon.” The country was shocked when Downie revealed his terminal cancer diagnosis in May 2016. The band’s subsequent tour sold out nearly immediately.