Gord Downie, lead singer of The Tragically Hip, has died

**This image is for use with this specific article only.** Tragically Hip frontman Gordon Downie performs at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in 2011.

TORONTO (AP) - The widely revered lead singer and songwriter of iconic Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip has died. Gord Downie was 53.

Downie became a part of Canada's national identity with about hockey, small towns and the country's literature.

A statement on the band's website says he died Tuesday night "with his beloved children and family close by." The statement did not give a cause of death, though he had been diagnosed earlier with brain cancer.

Since The Tragically Hip's first album in 1987, the band has provided a soundtrack for the lives of many Canadians. "Ahead by a Century" and "Bobcaygeon" are among the best known.