“We have lost one of music’s most revered and prolific visionaries,” Cohen’s label wrote on Facebook. “A memorial will take place in Los Angeles at a later date. The family requests privacy during their time of grief.” No further details have been shared.
Born to a well-known family in Montreal’s Jewish community, Cohen spent several years as a moderately successful poet before he began setting his words to acoustic guitar music during the folk-rock boom of the 1960s. He was 33 when his first album, 1967’s Songs of Leonard Cohen, was released; the tracklist included such classics as “Suzanne” (also covered that year by his early mentor Judy Collins), “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye,” and “So Long, Marianne.”
Cohen went on to release 13 more albums, most recently You Want It Darker, released less than a month before his death. His work inspired artists from Kurt Cobain to R.E.M. to Anohni, among many others. He is survived by his children Lorca Cohen and Adam Cohen, and his granddaughter, Viva Wainwright Cohen.
“Everybody knows that the war is over / Everybody knows that the good guys lost.” —Leonard Cohen, “Everybody Knows”