Ask a Canadian music lover to enlighten you on who Gordon Lightfoot is and you might be invited into a conversation for at least an hour, obviously not because of the narrator’s loquacity, but because of Lightfoot’s robust profile. To save you the stress, this man is a talented Canadian singer and songwriter who, it seems, has dedicated his life to producing great music for our ears to enjoy.

Who is Gordon Lightfoot?

Gordon Lightfoot is a talented singer and songwriter. He was born on November 17, 1948 in Orillia, Ontario, Canada to Gordon Lightfoot Sr. (father) and Jessie Vick Trill Lightfoot (mother) who played a big role in the dry cleaning business. His love for music started at a very young age and he performed the famous Irish lullaby called Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral in fourth grade at a Parent’s Day activity.

After the performance, his parents learned about his musical talents and decided to help him become a successful child performer. In his early teens, he gained a technical knowledge of singing when he joined the United Church Choir in St. Paul, Orillia, under its leader Ray Williams. It was in the choir that he learned to use his voice as a direct representation of his emotions, which gave him more confidence in himself. His musical talent was so deep that he taught himself to play percussion, drums and folk guitar.

Growing up, he attended high school at Orillia District Vocational College and Institute, where he earned a reputation for being very good at sports like shot put, pole vault, and football. Because of his abilities in sport, he was awarded scholarships to the University of Toronto as well as the Schulich School of Music at McGill University. Instead, he chose to attend Westlake College of Music where he studied jazz composition and orchestration from 1958 to 1960.

After graduating from college, he returned to Toronto, Canada, in an effort to focus on his music career. Subsequently, he released two singles entitled “Remember me, I’m the first” and “Negotiations”, which received airplay in Toronto, but were unpopular in other parts of Canada. Inspired by this, he decided to party with several established bands such as The Swinging Eight and Gino Silvi Singers in order to promote his brand. This eventually led him to form a duet with Terry Whalen which they called Two Tones. Although the duo was short-lived, they recorded a live album titled “Two Tones” in 1962.

In 1966 he released his first studio album titled “Lightfoot” which became an instant hit in Canada. While enjoying the euphoria of his debut album, he released a sophomore album titled “The Way I Feel” the following year. After releasing two more albums, he finally rose to international stardom in 1971 after his cover of “If You Could Read My Mind” slipped into the US Top 10. After the success recorded in 1971, he released a single titled “Sundown” which debuted at number 1 on the American Charts and led him to record approximately 59 concerts in the United States within a year. In 2002, after winning the battle against abdominal bleeding, he received Canada’s highest national honour: the Companion of the Order of Canada. This was in recognition of his contribution to the betterment of Canada through his music.

Interesting facts to know about the musician

Below are five facts you need to know before you go public with your Lightfoot discussions.

1. It wasn’t just called successful for the sake of it. During his long musical career spanning five decades, he was nominated for the Grammy Award five times. That said, he has won 17 Canadian Juno Awards in multiple categories, which speaks to his commitment to making great music.

2 Lightfoot had a hard time getting married. During his life he married three times. His first marriage dates back to April 1963 and Brita Ingegerd Olaisson, but they decided to end their marriage in 1973 for infidelity on the part of Lightfoot. In 1989 he married again. This time with Elizabeth Moon but after 22 years of marriage they divorced in 2011.

He is currently married to Kim Hasse whom he tied the knot with on December 14, 2014. Gordon Lightfoot is a father of four children; Fred and Ingrid from his first marriage, Miles and Meredith from his second.

3. He is a big fan of Justin Bieber’s music. According to him, regardless of Justin Bieber’s tendencies to get in trouble from time to time, he knows how to make really good music.

4 His single “If You Could Read My Mind” was composed by him after drawing inspiration from his failed marriage to ex-wife Brita. However, lately, he changed the lyrics from “I’m trying to figure out the feelings you miss” to “I’m trying to figure out the feelings we miss” following demands from his daughter Ingrid to change it.

5. Over the years, this iconic singer and songwriter has amassed an estimated net worth of around $30 million, most of which has come from sales of hit albums.