Canadian folk and country singer Gordon Lightfoot is dead. He died peacefully on Monday evening at the age of 84 in a hospital in the Canadian metropolis of Toronto, according to a post on his Facebook page. It was a natural death. Lightfoot leaves behind his wife, six children and several grandchildren. Confirmation from a spokeswoman for the singer was available to several Canadian and US media outlets.
Lightfoot's best-known songs include "If You Could Read My Mind" (1970), "Summer Side Of Life" (1971), "Don Quixote" (1972), "Summertime Dream", "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" (both 1976), Shadows (1982) and Salute (1983). His classics have been played by world-renowned musicians such as Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, Neil Young, Barbra Streisand, Eric Clapton and Paul Weller.
"We have lost one of our greatest singer-songwriters," Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote on Twitter. "Gordon Lightfoot captured the spirit of our country through his music - and in doing so, helped shape the soundscape of Canada."
Writer Stephen King wrote on Twitter: "He was a great songwriter and a wonderful artist." For actor Ben Stiller, Gordon Lightfoot was "a genius". His music is a big part of his life. "I'm grateful for the inspiration he's given to all of us," the actor wrote on Twitter.
Former Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield also spoke via the short message service and wrote: "Your poetry and melodies are an everlasting inspiration."