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Leonard Cohen Dies: Influential 'Hallelujah' Singer-Songwriter Was 82

Leonard Cohen Dies: Influential 'Hallelujah' Singer-Songwriter Was 82

In this April 17, 2009, file photo, Leonard Cohen performs during the first day of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, California. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)

By    |   Friday, 11 November 2016 06:47 AM

Leonard Cohen, the influential singer-songwriter and member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, has died at 82, a publicist for his record label confirmed to National Public Radio Thursday.

News of Cohen's death first appeared on his Facebook fan page.

"My father passed away peacefully at his home in Los Angeles with the knowledge that he had completed what he felt was one of his greatest records," his son Adam Cohen, who produced his last album "You Want It Darker," said Thursday night, according to NPR. "He was writing up until his last moments with his unique brand of humor."

A Quebec native, Cohen was a well-known poet and novelist before breaking into the music business at 31 in 1966, Reuters reported. Critics often compared him to Bob Dylan.

Even though he rarely made the pop charts with what Reuters called "moody folk-rock," his most famous song, "Hallelujah," has been covered by hundreds of artists since its release in 1984. The song, according to the news agency, invoked the biblical King David and drew parallels between physical love and a desire for spiritual connection.

"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. Among them are Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Joni Mitchell, and Phil Ochs. Leonard Cohen heads this elite class," Cohen's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame biography reads. He was inducted in 2008.

"Cohen's recording career spans 40 years, commencing with the 1967 release of his debut album, 'Songs of Leonard Cohen.' He was in his early thirties and seven years older than Dylan, and his age set him apart from the young musicians who dominated the rock and folk worlds," the bio continued.

Cohen became a practicing Buddhist during the mid-70s and from 1994-99 he spent time at a monastery in Mount Baldy, California, as a personal assistant to his teacher, Kyozan Joshu Sasaki, according to Billboard. His 2006 poetry collection, "Book of Longing," inspired a song cycle by Philip Glass, the magazine noted.

He won four Juno Awards and one Grammy and was also honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. Cohen is also member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, and he received a Princess of Asturias Award, Billboard said. In 2011, Cohen was named a Companion of the Order of Canada, the country's highest civilian award.

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Leonard Cohen, the influential singer-songwriter and member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, has died at 82, a publicist for his record label confirmed to National Public Radio Thursday.
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2016-47-11
Friday, 11 November 2016 06:47 AM
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