Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau became teary-eyed as he spoke emotionally about late rocker Gord Downie at a press conference Wednesday. Trudeau said he initially thought could make it through the speech's entirety but claimed that it "hurts." The prime minister considered Downie to be a friend.

"We lost one of the very best of us this morning. Gord was my friend, but Gord was everyone's friend," Trudeau said to reporters Wednesday. "Our buddy Gord, who loved this country with everything he had — and not just loved it in a nebulous "Oh, I love Canada" way — he loved every hidden corner, every story, every aspect of this country that he celebrated his whole life."

Trudeau added, "He knew, as great as we were, we needed to be better than we are, and that's why his last years were devoted to Chanie Wenjack and to reconciliation. This is something that I've certainly drawn inspiration and strength from. We are less as a country without Gord Downie in it."

Trudeau concluded the press conference by offering up words in Downie's honor in French. 

Trudeau also issued a statement regarding Downie's death to his official website Wednesday. The statement addressed the late rocker's legacy in Canada as a musician and activist. 

Downie, 53, died from a battle with brain cancer Tuesday. The Tragically Hip's frontman was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an incurable form of cancer, in December 2015. Downie reportedly died surrounded by his children and family. 

"Gord knew this day was coming," The Tragically Hip wrote in a statement on the band's website Wednesday. "His response was to spend this precious time as he always had — music, making memories and expressing deep gratitude to his family and friends for a life well lived, often sealing it with a kiss… on the lips."

The band added, "We would like to thank all the kind folks at KGH and Sunnybrook, Gord’s bandmates, management team, friends and fans. Thank you for all the help and support over the past two years."

Candian celebrities like Seth Rogen and Matt Lashoff also shared goodbye messages for Downie. 

Justin Trudeau Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, pictured October 13, 2017 in Mexico City, Mexico as he prepares to speak before the Mexican Senate, gave an emotion-filled speech in honor of his late friend and rocker Gord Downie. Photo: Getty Images