Artist News

Leonard Cohen dies

By | Published on Friday 11 November 2016

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen has died, aged 82, three weeks after the release of his final album, ‘You Want It Darker’. The cause of death is not yet known.

A statement on his official Facebook page reads: “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”.

“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”, Cohen’s son Adam subsequently told Rolling Stone. “He was writing up until his last moments with his unique brand of humour”.

Meanwhile, the musician’s manager, Robert Kory said: “Unmatched in his creativity, insight and crippling candor, Leonard Cohen was a true visionary whose voice will be sorely missed. I was blessed to call him a friend, and for me to serve that bold artistic spirit firsthand was a privilege and great gift. He leaves behind a legacy of work that will bring insight, inspiration and healing for generations to come”.

‘You Want It Darker’ was produced by Adam Cohen at his father’s LA home over the course of more than a year, with the recording completed in July this year.

A New Yorker article published ahead of the album’s release in October hinted at Cohen’s ill health, with him describing himself as being “confined to barracks”. Speaking about the new songs he was already working on in the interview, he added: “I don’t think I’ll be able to finish those songs. Maybe, who knows? And maybe I’ll get a second wind, I don’t know. But I don’t dare attach myself to a spiritual strategy. I don’t dare do that. I’ve got some work to do. Take care of business. I am ready to die. I hope it’s not too uncomfortable. That’s about it for me”.

Earlier this year it was also reported that Cohen had written to former lover Marianna Ihlen – the subject of his song, ‘So Long, Marianne’ – shortly before her death, telling her: “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”.

However, at a Q&A session at the Canadian consulate in LA days after the New Yorker article was published, he played down both of those statements, saying: “I said I was ready to die recently. And I think I was exaggerating. I’ve always been into self-dramatisation. I intend to live forever … I intend to stick around until 120”.

A memorial service is set to take place in the near future.