Unconfirmed reports say musician Gordon Lightfoot dead at 71

Either he’s joined the likes of Chuck Biscuits, Abe Vigoda, and Johnny Depp on the celebrity death hoax list, or it’s truly sundown for Gordon Lightfoot.

The Net is currently lighting up with reports that the iconic Canadian singer-songwriter has passed away.

Close friend and fellow Canadian legend Ronnie Hawkins has been quoted as saying that Lightfoot died Wednesday night at the age of 71.

But before you go putting on a black armband, reaching for the Crown Royal, and cueing up “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”, keep in mind that more than one celebrity has been incorrectly reported dead on the Web in recent months. In other words, until it’s confirmed, there’s a very real possibility that Lightfoot, whose career spans six decades, is currently ice fishing on Lake Gitche Gumee.

Gordon Lightfoot performs "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" in 1979.



Miranda Nelson

Feb 18, 2010 at 12:09pm

CBC Radio is now reporting that his death was a hoax. Still, it reminds me that I need to pull out my guitar and learn "Rainy Day People".

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Feb 18, 2010 at 12:11pm

why not check first? this is lame

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Mike Usinger

Feb 18, 2010 at 12:32pm

Dear Lana. Why not check first? Actually, I would have, but I seem to have misplaced his number.

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Feb 18, 2010 at 1:37pm

Dear Mike:
That's your excuse? Yeee-eeeks. Let's try to give web publishing more credibility, OK?

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Victoria Lord

Feb 18, 2010 at 1:38pm

This is the official statement:

Internet Prank is not true. Gordon Lightfoot alive and well.

For Immediate Release, Thursday, February 18, 2010

B.C. Fiedler Management, Gordon Lightfoot’s concert tour promoters officially confirm that the legendary singer-songwriter is alive and in good health. The statement is being made in response to viral internet rumours that have been reporting Lightfoot’s death. This report is false and completely without merit.

“This is just an unfortunate prank,” confirms long-time friend and promoter Bernie Fiedler. “Gordon has just visited his dentist and is now working in his office where he just gave an interview to 680 News Radio. He’s in good shape and is baffled by the speed at which this incorrect information has taken hold”.

The source of this unfortunate rumour has not been confirmed.

This Spring, Gordon Lightfoot will perform live in this, his 5th decade of touring, on a 12-city Spring 2010 Tour of Eastern Canada, Quebec, and Ontario. The first stop on Lightfoot’s Spring 2010 Tour kicks off on March 29th and 30th with concerts at the Holy Heart Theatre in St. John’s, and continues through the Maritimes with concerts slated for Corner Brook, Halifax, Moncton, Saint John (NB), and then on to Quebec City and Montreal. The Ontario dates include 2 nights at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, followed by stops in Kingston, Peterborough, Hamilton and finally on April 15th at the John Labatt Centre in London.

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Mike Usinger

Feb 18, 2010 at 2:04pm

There was no official statement at the time we originally posted. But being aware that these things are often false, we didn't just declare him dead the way every other media outlet in the country did.
Oh, and I lost his number which is why I couldn't contact him and his manager directly. Note to all of you: keep away from Crown Royal.

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Cavan Kelly

Feb 18, 2010 at 3:01pm

Geez, now I don't know what to believe. Twitter says Lightfoot is dead, Lightfoot is on TV saying he's not. Guess we'll have to wait for the Toronto Star, where they know EVERTHING, to find out for sure.

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come on now, straight

Feb 18, 2010 at 7:21pm

I got the Georgia Straight's twitter with the link to this article, one hour AFTER it had already been retracted by the CBC and widely reported elsewhere that the story was indeed a hoax. The story was pulled and proved to be false at approx 2:53 pm ET, and your tweet went out at 4:00 pm repeating the false rumour. Fact check much????

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come on now, straight

Feb 18, 2010 at 7:23pm

and btw, if indeed this HAD been true, what a completely disrespectful way to report it, with your PUN on his Sundown lyric. Your reporting is appalling.

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one more thing

Feb 18, 2010 at 7:30pm

LOUSY excuse, Usinger, that you couldn't find his manager's number. Try GOOGLE, or any number of industry directories. Besides, by the time you posted this, there were plenty of "other media outlets in the country" who had already dispelled the rumour. If you're going to write about the fact that everybody jumps on a rumour, at least do it with some jabs at the media and the internet, but show some regard for the person-- a Canadian LIVING legend-- who was erroneously declared dead. A-hole.

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