It pains me deeply to report the death of musician, novelist and poet, Leonard Cohen. He passed away peacefully in his Los Angeles home on November 7th, aged 82. His death was not reported until the early hours of this morning.
Cohen’s career and fan base has spanned over four decades since his rise to prominence in the late 1960s, attracting the attention of numerous critics, including the Academy of American Poets, the admiration of various political figures, and that of fellow musicians both old and young. Truly a prolific artist if there ever was one.
His son Adam released a statement earlier today: “My father passed away peacefully at his home in Los Angeles with the knowledge that he had completed what he felt was one of his greatest records (You Want It Darker). He was writing up until his last moments with his unique brand of humour.”
Cohen has received a seemingly never-ending list of awards, titles and honours throughout the course of his career, but perhaps one of the most distinguished being the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to Cohen in 2010 at the 52nd Grammy Awards held in Los Angeles. He was also inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame that same year.
Cohen’s artistic works explored many different aspects of the human experience in it’s own sombre way, such as religion, personal relationships, depression, politics, isolation and sexuality. Cohen’s eclectic sound varied over the years, from the gospel-like feel of Hallelujah to the pessimistic-synthpop mood of Everybody Knows, Cohen has proven time after time that his lyrics and song writing capabilities utterly transcend genre and traditional compositional style.
It’s also worth mentioning, for the sake of trivia, that Leonard Cohen was ordained a Rinzai Buddhist Monk in 1996.
Cohen led a long and colourful life, though fans everywhere will sorely miss him – his words and his music will live on.
‘Now so long, Marianne, it’s time that we began to laugh and cry and cry and laugh about it all again.’
Picture credit: New Yorker