SAN DIEGO — Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen has died at the age of 82.
“We have lost one of music’s most revered and prolific visionaries,” said a post on the artist’s official Facebook page.
A highly-respected artist known for his poetic and lyrical music, Cohen wrote a number of popular songs including the often-covered “Hallelujah.”
His 14th studio album, “You Want It Darker,” had just been released on October 21.
Cohen’s son, Adam, who helped produce his latest album, said in a statement his father died in the knowledge he’d made “one of his greatest records.”
“He was writing up until his last moments with his unique brand of humor,” he said.
Cohen’s manager, Robery Kory, said the artist’s work would inspire “for generations to come.”
“Unmatched in his creativity, insight and crippling candor, Leonard Cohen was a true visionary whose voice will be sorely missed,” he said in a statement.
The Sony Music Canada family joins the world in mourning Leonard Cohen’s passing.
— Sony Music Canada (@Sony_Music) November 11, 2016
Apart from his successful musical career, Cohen also wrote novels and numerous collections of poetry.
A memorial will be held in Los Angeles at a later date, the Facebook post said.
‘That’s how the light gets in’
Hamilton composer Lin-Manuel Miranda joined the chorus of celebrities bidding farewell to the artist on social media, quoting from Cohen’s “Suzanne.”
& when he knew for certain
Only drowning men could see him
He said all men will be sailors then
Until the sea shall free them
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) November 11, 2016
Many remembered him with a line from his 1992 single, Anthem: “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”
Dear Leonard Cohen, thanks for the quiet nights, the reflection, the perspective, the wry smiles and the truth #towerofsong
— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) November 11, 2016
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined with those mourning Cohen’s death, saying his work had “resonated across generations.”
“Canada and the world will miss him.”
No other artist's music felt or sounded like Leonard Cohen's. Yet his work resonated across generations. Canada and the world will miss him.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) November 11, 2016
‘I did my best, it wasn’t much’
Cohen was already a published author when he released his first album, “Song of Leonard Cohen,” in 1967.
He was famous for his lyrically complex songs, some of which were better received as covers than in Cohen’s original versions — both Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” cover in 1994 and Judy Collins 1966 version of “Suzanne” were more popular than the originals.
Born in 1934 in Montreal, Canada, Cohen was forced to go on tour again the past decade after discovering his retirement fund was missing more than $5 million, his Rolling Stone biography said.
In 2008 he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in the United States.
“There are few artists in the realm of popular music who can truly be called poets, in the classical, arts-and-letters sense of the word,” his tribute on the museum’s website says.
“Among them are Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Joni Mitchell and Phil Ochs. Leonard Cohen heads this elite class.”
On his official Facebook page the only biography provided is one verse from his most popular song, “Hallelujah.”
“I did my best, it wasn’t much. I couldn’t tell so I learned to touch. I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you. And even though it all went wrong, I’ll stand before the Lord of Song with nothing on my tongue but hallelujah.”