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  1. ITV Report

Justin Trudeau pays tearful tribute to singer Gord Downie

An emotional Justin Trudeau has paid a tearful tribute to singer Gord Downie.

Downie, the lead singer of The Tragically Hip, died aged 53 after a battle with brain cancer.

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau at times struggled to speak as he said the singer was someone who wanted to make the country a better place and will be sorely missed.

He said: "Gord was my friend but Gord was everyone's friend, that's who we were.

Gord Downie died aged 53 after a battle with brain cancer. Credit: AP

"Our buddy Gord, who loved this country with everything he had and not just loved it in a nebulous, 'Oh I love Canada' way. He loved every hidden corner, every story, every aspect of this country that he celebrated his whole life.

"He wanted to make it better. He knew as great as we were, we needed to be better than we are.

"We are less as a country without Gord down here in it. And we knew it was coming, but we hoped it wasn't."

Downie made himself part of Canada's national identity with songs about hockey and small towns.