Leonard Cohen, the all-time great vocalist and songwriter, has died at the age of 82.
“It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away,” according to a statement posted to Cohen’s Facebook on Thursday night. “We have lost one of music’s most revered and prolific visionaries. A memorial will take place in Los Angeles at a later date. The family requests privacy during their time of grief.” A cause of death was not disclosed.
At the time of his death, Cohen was just weeks removed from his fourteenth studio album, You Want It Darker. In a corresponding interview with The New Yorker, Cohen speculated that it would mark the final chapter in his illustrious career, as he believed his days were numbered. “I am ready to die. I hope it’s not too uncomfortable. That’s about it for me,” Cohen was quoted as saying. He later clarified in an interview with Billboard, noting, “I said I was ready to die recently. And I think I was exaggerating. I’ve always been into self-dramatization. I intend to live forever.”
A musician, writer, and poet whose output spanned six decades, Cohen was an inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a recipient of the Ninth Glenn Gould Prize Laureate, and a Companion of the Order of Canada, the highest civilian honor in his native Canada.
Starting with his debut album, 1967’s Songs of Leonard Cohen — which Consequence of Sound deemed one of the hundred greatest albums of all time — to his subsequent opuses such as 1971’s Songs of Love and Hate, 1984’s Various Positions — which included his iconic song “Hallelujah” — and 1988’s I’m Your Man, Cohen’s discography was among the most acclaimed and consistent of his time. Even the albums released in the later years of his life were met with critical fanfare; Old Ideas ranked as the 34th best release of 2012, and You Want It Darker just received an A- rating from CoS.
Equally impressive was Cohen’s prolific touring schedule, which he maintained into his late 70s. His final tour in support of Old Ideas consisted of 125 dates, with Cohen performing upwards of 30 songs each night.
Cohen was also a renowned writer, publishing two novels and several collections of poetry.