Leonard Cohen, influential Canadian musician, dies at 82

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WATCH ABOVE: Leonard Cohen, a Canadian singer, songwriter, poet and author, has died at the age of 82. Kelly Greig reports – Nov 11, 2016

Legendary Canadian singer, songwriter, author and poet Leonard Cohen has died. He was 82 years old.

The news was announced on his Facebook page at 8:30 p.m. ET on Thursday. So far there is no cause of death being reported.

“We have lost one of music’s most revered and prolific visionaries,” the statement reads.

A memorial will be held in Los Angeles, according to Cohen’s label, Sony Music Canada, but a date has yet to be set.

Cohen, who was born in Quebec in 1934, was revered not only across Canada but around the world. He was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame as well as the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and has been called one of the most influential authors of our time. He was also a companion of the Order of Canada.

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READ MORE: Leonard Cohen’s death prompts outpouring of grief online

WATCH: Fans gather outside Leonard Cohen’s Montreal home to sing his songs in memorial

Click to play video: 'Fans gather outside Leonard Cohen’s Montreal home to sing his songs in memorial' Fans gather outside Leonard Cohen’s Montreal home to sing his songs in memorial
Fans gather outside Leonard Cohen’s Montreal home to sing his songs in memorial – Nov 11, 2016

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid tribute to him on Twitter Thursday night saying, “No other artist’s music felt or sounded like Leonard Cohen’s. Yet his work resonated across generations.”

His works are known around the globe for their dark subject matter and his deep voice.  His song, Hallelujah, has been covered many times, and is one of the most recognizable world-wide.

His songs prompted him to be dubbed the “godfather of gloom,” the “poet laureate of pessimism,” the “grocer of despair” and the “prince of bummers.”

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But he was hailed for his intelligence, humility, curiosity and generosity, donating unpublished poems, poems-in-progress, drawings and archival material to a fan website where it could be enjoyed by followers.

WATCH : Irish priest belts out Leonard Cohen’s classic Hallelujah  

Along with his music, Cohen’s poems and books have also garnered world-wide recognition. He won a Prince of Asturias Award for literature in 2011.

In all, he published more than a dozen novels and books of poetry and recorded nearly two dozen albums.

Cohen, who was also an aspiring Zen monk, blended folk music with a darker, sexual edge that won him fans around the world and among fellow musicians like Bob Dylan and R.E.M.

READ MORE: Leonard Cohen: ‘I’m ready to die, I hope it’s not too uncomfortable’

It hasn’t even been one month since he released his last album, titled You Want It Darker?  While still finishing the album, he gave an interview with The New Yorker saying he was ready to die.

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“As I approach the end of my life, I have even less and less interest in examining what have got to be very superficial evaluations or opinions about the significance of one’s life or one’s work,” he said. “I was never given to it when I was healthy, and I am less given to it now.”

The album, which like much of Cohen’s music dealt with spirituality, garnered rave reviews. The Guardian called it “exquisite,” and gave it five stars, while Rolling Stone magazine gave it four,

It seemed like a final album, and maybe The Rolling Stones sums it up best when they said “You Want It Darker is the sound of a master soundtracking his exit.”

WATCH: Leonard Cohen tribute in Halifax

*with files from The Canadian Press and from the Associated Press.


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