Singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen dies aged 82
The singer-songwriter and artist Leonard Cohen has died at the age of 82.
A statement on his official Facebook page said: “It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist Leonard Cohen has passed away.
“We have lost one of music’s most revered and prolific visionaries.”
A memorial is going to take place in Los Angeles at a later date, and it is not publicly known how or where he died.
Cohen’s death comes three weeks after he released his 14th studio album, called You Want It Darker.
Following the release, he told The New Yorker magazine: “I’ve got some work to do. Take care of business. I am ready to die. I hope it’s not too uncomfortable. That’s about it for me.”
One of the artist’s best-known songs was Hallelujah, which he recorded and released in 1984.
Hundreds of cover versions have been recorded in the decades since – with the song appearing on countless TV shows and films.
His mournful, sensitive style first became popular in the 1960s with the release of his debut album Songs Of Leonard Cohen.
It featured Suzanne, which was covered by singer Judy Collins, and another song that was to become a long-time favourite, Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye.
Songs such as Bird On The Wire, Sisters of Mercy, Famous Blue Raincoat and First We Take Manhattan became concert regulars for an artist who never stopped working.
Sony Music Canada, his record label, said: “Leonard Cohen was an unparalleled artist whose stunning body of original work has been embraced by generations of fans and artists alike.
“We are proud and feel extremely privileged to have celebrated his artistry over a career spanning six decades.”
Cohen was born in Canada in 1934, and away from his musical career enjoyed critical acclaim as a poet and novelist.
When he was 31, he moved to New York to break into the music business – and before long, critics were comparing him to Bob Dylan for the lyrical force of his songwriting.
A few months ago, his muse and former lover Marianne Ihlen – the subject of his song So Long Marianne – also passed away.
In a letter he reportedly sent to Ihlen before her death, Cohen wrote: “Well Marianne, it’s come to this time when we are really so old and our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon.
“Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine.”