Quebec mourns the death of Karl Tremblay, singer of the Cowboys Fringants

The singer of the famous Quebec group Cowboys Fringants died two weeks ago. On Tuesday evening, all of Quebec mourned the death of Karl Tremblay during an emotional tribute ceremony. “Aside from the singer, it's a great creature that Quebec has lost,” admits Marie-Josée Poirier, a 58-year-old fan who waited several hours to be first in line.

Among the thousands of fans in attendance, some handed out paper airplanes to commemorate one of the group's songs, while others played the great classics to warm up the audience in the freezing weather. “He sings about life, each song represents a moment that we lived through,” said Katherine Daoust, 32, adding that his death was a “shock to Quebec culture.” She no longer counts how many times she saw this group, “which brought several generations together,” in concert.

A “man who left his mark on Quebec”

For Alex Pelletier, a forty-year-old who wears a bright black and green tie around his neck reminiscent of the singer's, Karl Tremblay is nothing less than an “icon.” “His voice brought all Quebecers together, even France, the entire French-speaking world is affected by his death,” he said. Since his death was announced on November 15, the entire political class has been honoring the legacy of the 47-year-old artist.

The province's premier on Tuesday praised a “man who left his mark on Quebec.” “The entire nation of Quebec recognizes itself in Karl and the Cowboys,” explained François Legault, dressed entirely in black, to journalists. The approximately 15,000 free tickets for the ceremony in Montreal sold out in less than half an hour on Thursday.

One last tour this summer

Quebec's flag was lowered to half-mast outside the National Assembly on Tuesday and a register of condolences was made available to the public online. Karl Tremblay has been battling prostate cancer for several years. The group has had to cancel several concerts in recent months after completing a final tour in the summer of 2023, culminating in a final concert in Quebec attended by more than 90,000 fans.

In the 27 years of their career, the Cowboys Fringants had become a real social phenomenon in the French-speaking province of Canada. The group also performed regularly in France.

Earl Bishop

Thinker. Professional social media fanatic. Introvert. Web evangelist. Total pop culture fan.

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