To call Leonard Cohen an Icon and Legend, might just be cutting him short. The man, the poet, the musician, was truly a person who brought insight to those who listened to his music and read his poems. His work will never be forgotten, and with his passing the world has lost something special.
The news of Cohen’s passing was announced yesterday on his Facebook page. “It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away,” the post said. “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.” Cohen was 82 years old, and died from undisclosed causes.
Cohen was born in Montreal in 1934 to a middle class Jewish family. He attended McGill University, and later Columbia, and at one point attended law school. He turned his focus to poetry and fiction in 1957 however, but was unable to support himself as a writer. He turned to music in the late 60s’, eventually moving to the United States. His first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen, was released in 1967, and would be the first of 14. He recently released his last album on October 21st.
Cohen’s musical impact was often compared to Paul Simon and Bob Dylan, and his deep, bass voice sang songs about war, religion, politics, sexuality, loneliness, and much more. His first major film exposure came on the 1971 soundtrack for McCabe Mrs. Miller, which included three of his songs. His most popular song however came in the form of the 1984 single Hallelujah. Over 300 artists have covered the track, but it’s Cohen’s version that will always be the highest regarded. It’s appeared in countless TV shows and movies, including Watchmen, Lord of War, and even the animated film Shrek.
Leonard Cohen is survived by his two children, and two grandchildren.
Photo: Rama on Wikipedia