Sony Music, Leonard Cohen’s label, has announced via Facebook that the legendary poet and singer-songwriter has passed away. “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,” the statement reads. The exact date or cause of death is not mentioned.
While living in the island of Hydra in Greece in the early 60’s, he published two novels and one poetry collection. He then left, and inspired by the rising folk scene in New York, he released his iconic debut ‘Songs of Leonard Cohen‘. With his signature bass voice, nylon guitar patterns, and poetic lyrics, he became established as one of the most unique singer-songwriters, as acclaimed and influential as his contemporaries like Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Paul Simon. He went on to release music for decades to come, producing classic songs like ‘Hallelujah’, ‘Suzanne’, and ‘Dance Me to the End of Love’.
On October 30th, 2016 he released his last record ‘You Want it Darker’, just days after he infamously said in an interview that he is “ready to die”. He later contradicted this by saying he “intends to live forever.” Nevertheless, it made many think of the album as a last will and testament and as something more than just a tendency for “self-dramatization”. And indeed, though the singer dealt with mortality since his very first record, it was never as profound as on his last one.