He was a well-known Canadian multi-talented artist who contributed to the industry with ethereal hits like Hallelujah, Suzanne and Sisters of Mercy among others, passed away at the age of 82 years old. An official announcement was made on his Facebook page which declared:
“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.”
Just weeks before the legend’s demise, he gave an interview to the New Yorker where he told Editor David Remnick: “I am ready to die. I hope it’s not too uncomfortable. That’s about it for me.” He had also released his 14th studio album, You Want It Darker, where he sings on the title track, “I’m ready, my Lord.”
Leonard Cohen was born in Quebec, Canada in 1934 and while he was still in his teens, wrote an award winning poem Let Us Compare Mythologies in 1951. Cohen wanted to get into music while still at McGill University in Montreal, but didn’t actually make an attempt until he moved to New York City and met talent scout John Hammond, who worked for Columbia Records at the time. Cohen wrote many hits at that time, including Suzanne which was recorded by Judy Collins. Cohen’s first album Songs of Leonard Cohen became a major hit in the United Kingdom when it was released in 1967.
Cohen’s biggest hit had to be Hallelujah which saw a few artists later covering, the most famous cover being by the late Jeff Buckley for his only album, Grace. When asked about the song in an interview, Cohen said: “I like the song. I think it’s a good song. One is always trying to write a good song, like everyone else, you put in your best effort. It took a long time. The song came out in ’83-84′ and then, the only person who seemed to recognize the song was (Bob) Dylan. Nobody else recognized it until quite a long time later.”
The passing of a great poet who left an indelible mark on the industry. RIP, Leonard Cohen (1934-2016).