|Leonard Cohen - dead at 82|
Singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen has died, according to his official Facebook page. He was 82. His latest album You Want It Darker came out in October. The note on Facebook reads, “We have lost one of music’s most revered and prolific visionaries.” Find the full statement below.
He was also a noted poet and novelist. Before the release of his 1967 debut Songs of Leonard Cohen, he had published his first two novels: The Favourite Game and Beautiful Losers. He continued to publish poetry throughout his life. He initially switched over to songwriting after being disappointed from his lack of financial success as a writer.
He was first discovered by Columbia talent scout John H. Hammond in 1967, who also signed Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Bruce Springsteen, and others. His first album Songs of Leonard Cohen came out that year; it featured his breakout song “Suzanne.” Cohen is perhaps best known for penning the 1984 song “Hallelujah,” which was covered many times over (by John Cale, Jeff Buckley, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, and many more). He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.
Prior to the release of You Want It Darker, Cohen gave an interview where he addressed his declining health and mortality. “I am ready to die,” he said. “I hope it’s not too uncomfortable.” Earlier this year, it was revealed that Cohen sent a letter to his muse and long-time friend Marianne Ihlen just two days before she died. “Well Marianne, it's come to this time when we are really so old and our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon. Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine.” (During a Q&A session behind the new album in October, Cohen retracted his statement about death, saying “I’ve always been into self-dramatization. I intend to live forever... I intend to stick around until 120.”)