Canadian Press Reports about an hour ago:
Canadian country-folk legend Stompin’ Tom Connors, whose toe-tapping musical spirit and fierce patriotism established him as one of Canada’s strongest cultural icons, has died. He was 77.
Connors passed away Wednesday from what a spokesman described as “natural causes.”
Brian Edwards said the musician, rarely seen without his signature black cowboy hat and stomping cowboy boots, knew his health was declining and penned a message for his fans a few days before his death.
“I know Tom loved the fans more than anything. He’s probably one of the few artists that built his whole life around fans and nothing else,” Edwards said.
“The man stood for everything that Canada stood for and he was very adamant that he stayed a Canadian and made it very apparent that he never left the country to advance his career and stayed very, very true to who he was.”
In the letter posted on his official website, Connors issued a final thank you to his fans, to whom he credited his entire career.
“I want all my fans, past, present, or future, to know that without you, there would have not been any Stompin’ Tom,” Connors wrote.
“It was a long hard bumpy road, but this great country kept me inspired with its beauty, character, and spirit, driving me to keep marching on and devoted to sing about its people and places that make Canada the greatest country in the world.”
The musician said he hoped his work would continue to “bring a little bit of cheer” into people’s lives even after his death and called on his fans to continue to bring Canadiana to the world.