“Leonard Cohen, the hugely influential singer and songwriter whose work spanned five decades, has died at the age of 82. Cohen’s label, Sony Music Canada, confirmed his death on the singer’s Facebook page,” reports Rolling Stone magazine.
The story continues, “‘It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away,’ the statement read. ‘We have lost one of music’s most revered and prolific visionaries. A memorial will take place in Los Angeles at a later date. The family requests privacy during their time of grief.’ A cause of death and exact date of death was not given.”
The New York Times said that Cohen was a “Canadian poet and novelist who abandoned a promising literary career to become one of the foremost songwriters of the contemporary era…”
The Times adds, “Over a musical career that spanned more than 45 years, Mr. Cohen wrote scores of songs that addressed, in language that was spare and often oblique, themes of religion and love, depression and suicide, politics and war. More than 2,000 recordings of those songs have been made, by artists ranging from the folk singers who were his first champions, like Judy Collins and Tim Hardin, to leading rock, pop, country and even rhythm and blues performers, including U2, Elton John, Sting, Trisha Yearwood and Aretha Franklin.”
Notes Rolling Stone, “Hallelujah,” a meditation on love, sex and music [was] Cohen’s best-known composition thanks to Jeff Buckley’s incandescent 1994 reinterpretation.”
Here’s a must-see moving live version of “Hallelujah,” sung by Cohen in 2009. On YouTube, it’s been watched 41 million times.