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Obituaries

Leonard Cohen, 82

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Posted on Leonard Cohen's Facebook page about 5:30 p.m.

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 will take place in Los Angeles at a later date. The family requests privacy during their time of grief.

I could have picked any of 25 classic songs. "Take This Waltz:"

Now in Vienna there are ten pretty women
There's a shoulder where Death comes to cry
There's a lobby with nine hundred windows
There's a tree where the doves go to die
There's a piece that was torn from the morning
And it hangs in the Gallery of Frost

Cohen released his 14th album last month. "You Want It Darker" — it played like a farewell and was difficult to listen to even before today.

BBC obituary.

Leonard Cohen was called "the high priest of pathos" and the "godfather of gloom."


But the influence and appeal of this poet, novelist, songwriter and legendary ladies' man has endured throughout his career.

Often prone to depression throughout his life, is often, witty, charming and self-deprecating manner was reflected in his lyrics.

And after a period of retreat in the 1990s he reemerged with his creativity undimmed.

Leonard Norman Cohen was born in Westmount, a well-to-do area of Montreal, on 21 September 1934.


Rolling Stone.

Cohen was the dark eminence among a small pantheon of extremely influential singer-songwriters to emerge in the Sixties and early Seventies. Only Bob Dylan exerted a more profound influence upon his generation, and perhaps only Paul Simon and fellow Canadian Joni Mitchell equaled him as a song poet. Cohen's haunting bass voice, nylon-stringed guitar patterns, Greek-chorus backing vocals shaped evocative songs that dealt with love and hate, sex and spirituality, war and peace, ecstasy and depression. He was also the rare artist of his generation to enjoy artistic success into his Eighties, releasing his final album, You Want It Darker, earlier this year.


"I never had the sense that there was an end," he said in 1992. "That there was a retirement or that there was a jackpot."

New York Times.

Leonard Cohen, the Canadian poet and novelist who abandoned a promising literary career to become one of the foremost songwriters of the contemporary era has died, according to an announcement Thursday night on his Facebook page. He was 82.


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


Cohen's friend, former lover and musical muse, Marianne Ihlen, died earlier this year. Cohen with Perla Batalla and Julie Christensen in Olso in 1993.



Also last month, New Yorker editor David Remnick profiled Cohen at his home in Los Angeles.

Leonard Cohen lives on the second floor of a modest house in Mid-Wilshire, a diverse, unglamorous precinct of Los Angeles. He is eighty-two. Between 2008 and 2013, he was on tour more or less continuously. It is highly unlikely that his health will permit such rigors ever again. Cohen has an album coming out in October—obsessed with mortality, God-infused, yet funny, called “You Want It Darker”—but friends and musical associates say they’d be surprised to see him onstage again except in a limited way: a single performance, perhaps, or a short residency at one venue. When I e-mailed ahead to ask Cohen out for dinner, he said that he was more or less “confined to barracks.”


Fans of Cohen are flooding the Facebook pages of longtime collaborators Perla Batalla and Julie Christensen. Neither has posted yet.


Added: The Montreal Gazette.

The loss of Leonard Cohen, who has died at age 82, is huge, and is going to take some getting used to. As poet, novelist and most influentially as a late-starting singer-songwriter, Montreal’s most celebrated son left an indelible mark on the past five-plus decades. An artist who was considered old by the standards of pop culture in 1967, when his debut album Songs of Leonard Cohen was released, ended up outlasting almost all of his contemporaries as a vital creative force and cultural presence.

Cohen is survived by two children living in Los Angeles, son Adam Cohen and daughter Lorca Cohen.


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