Celebrity News May 01, 2023
Gordon Lightfoot, 'Sundown,' 'Edmund Fitzgerald' Folk Singer, Dies at 84
Gordon Lightfoot, often referred to as Canada's greatest songwriter, died Monday in Toronto at 84, The New York Times reports.
Lightfoot achieved success in the '60s and became one of the most popular male vocalists of the '70s.
Born November 17, 1938, in Ontario, the multi-instrumentalist sang from childhood and wrote his first song in high school.
He was one half of the folk duo the Two Tones in the early '60s, and by the end of the decade had become an in-demand songwriter, whose work was covered by the likes of Peter, Paul and Mary and country icon Marty Robbins.
Lightfoot became a household name after his 1970 single "If You Could Read My Mind" (a Top 5 hit in the U.S.). In 1974, he topped the charts with "Sundown," going on to achieve hits with "Carefree Highway (1974), "Rainy Day People" (1975), and the meandering, morose "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" (1976), about a real-life shipwreck in which 29 lives were lost.
"If You Could Read My Mind" was later the subject of a court case when Lightfoot sued composer over "The Greatest Love of All" (covered by George Benson and, more famously, Whitney Houston), saying a part of the melody had been plagiarized. The case was settled out of court, with Masser apologizing.
Lightfoot soldiered on as a live performer, and released a total of 21 studio albums across 54 years, including his last, 2020's "Solo."
He is survived by his third wife, Kim Hasse; his six children; and his sister.