Billy Joel has paid tribute to Gordon Lightfoot with a heartfelt cover of his song ‘If You Could Read My Mind’.

The legendary Canadian folk singer-songwriter’s death was confirmed via his official Facebook page on May 2. “Gordon Lightfoot passed away this evening at a Toronto hospital at 7:30 p.m. More information will follow,” the statement read. A cause of death has not been disclosed at the time of publication.

Joel then shared a video of himself playing Lightfoot’s 1970 hit ‘If You Could Read My Mind’ online with the caption: “So sad to hear of Gordon Lightfoot’s death. He was a lifelong musical hero of mine. His songs were the heart of Canada. REST IN PEACE”

Many musicians and notables have paid tribute to the late icon. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shared a tweet that read: “Gordon Lightfoot captured the spirit of our country in his music – and in doing so helped shape Canada’s soundscape. May his music continue to inspire future generations and may his legacy live on forever.”

The Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones also recreated his own cover of ‘If You Could Read My Mind’ from 2016 on Instagram in honor of Lightfoot’s passing. “Gordon Lightfoot, nice tune. Rip sir,” the caption read.

Lightfoot first burst onto the music scene in 1962 and would go on to be a stalwart of the folk-rock circuit, becoming responsible for some of the genre’s biggest hits over the next two decades.

Lightfoot’s music was celebrated by many, including Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Barbra Streisand, Harry Belafonte, Johnny Cash, Anne Murray and more, all of whom have covered Lightfoot’s songs.

Gordon Lightfoot received five Grammy nominations throughout his career and won 17 Juno Awards. In 1986, Bob Dylan inducted Lightfoot into the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame at that year’s Juno Awards.

Gordon Lightfoot
Gordon Lightfoot performing live in 2017. Credit: The Canadian Press / Alamy Stock Photo

In other news, Joel recently performed his 1974 track ‘Los Angelenos’ live for the first time in over four decades. “We never do this song, we haven’t since the 80s I think. Let’s try it,” Joel said after talking about living in Los Angeles.

He will play this year’s 2023 BST Hyde Park Festival in London later this summer with Daryl Hall as special guest.

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