According to his family, Downie passed away quietly last night surrounded by friends and family, and feeing nothing but gratitude for everything life had given him.
The Tragically Hip rose to fame in the late 1980s with bluesy hits like 'New Orleans Is Sinking' before developing a distinctly Canadian rock style in the 90s with songs like 'Fifty Mission Cap' (a tribute to late Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Bill Barilko) and 'Bobcaygeon' (named after a small fishing community in Ontario).
Downie will leave a lasting legacy on music as well as cannabis culture. Last May, the Hip entered the marijuana industry after announcing a partnership deal with the licensed medical marijuana producer Newstrike. And they used the opportunity to criticize marijuana prohibition as a disastrous international policy.
"There is a commitment from the Federal Government to legalize recreational use in just over a year, and with good reason," the band wrote on their website. "The harm wrought by the prohibition of marijuana has been thoroughly researched and documented. This is a common-sense-policy and, in our opinion, is a change for the best."
Shortly afterward, Newstrike stocks went on sale under the ticker symbol HIP. Through this partnership, Downie will live on by helping patients with various types of cancer that are treatable with medical marijuana.