Legendary Canadian folk singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot dead aged 84

Canadian folk singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot has died aged 84.

The Sundown hitmaker died in hospital in Toronto on Monday, his representatives confirmed to publications, though no cause of death has yet been given.

The likes of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Barbra Streisand are amongst those who covered Lightfoot’s songs.

In the 1960s, Lightfoot’s music spread throughout Canada and the US, with If You Could Read My Mind hitting the number five spot on the Billboard chart in 1971.

In the years that followed, his single and album Sundown topped the Billboard charts for the first and only time, before he went on to score five Grammy nominations and 17 Juno awards.

Despite the accolades, Lightfoot said in a 2008 interview with The Globe and Mail: ‘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.’ 

Canadian President Justin Trudeau paid tribute on Twitter, writing: ‘We have lost one of our greatest singer-songwriters.

‘Gordon Lightfoot captured our country’s spirit in his music – and in doing so, he helped shape Canada’s soundscape.

‘May his music continue to inspire future generations, and may his legacy live on forever.

‘To his family, friends, and many fans across the country and around the world: I’m keeping you in my thoughts at this difficult time.’

Lightfoot is survived by his older sister, six children from previous marriages and relationships, and his wife Kim Hasse.

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