Sad news Thursday: Renowned singer, songwriter, poet, artist, and author Leonard Cohen has died at the age of 82. The news was announced via Cohen's official Facebook page. "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. A memorial will take place in Los Angeles at a later date. The family requests privacy during their time of grief."
The statement did not release an official cause of death. Cohen had released his latest album just weeks before his death, in mid-October this year. The New Yorker profiled him shortly before his death, writing:
There is probably no more touring ahead. What is on Cohen’s mind now is family, friends, and the work at hand. ... Cohen has unpublished poems to arrange, unfinished lyrics to finish and record or publish. He’s considering doing a book in which poems, like pages of the Talmud, are surrounded by passages of interpretation. “The big change is the proximity to death,” he said. “I am a tidy kind of guy. I like to tie up the strings if I can. If I can’t, also, that’s O.K. But my natural thrust is to finish things that I’ve begun.”
Reading that quote now feels a bit surreal, even a little heartbreaking. However, in his lifetime, he did tie up plenty of loose strings. His album, You Want It Darker , was released on Oct. 21. This marked his 14th studio album, according to Pitchfork. In the site's review of You Want It Darker, they noted its darker tone, writing, "Every track is vivid yet still enigmatic as it conjures loss and lamentation of some variety." There's no doubt he's had a prolific career — 14 albums is no easy feat. Plus, you've likely heard his frequently covered song "Hallelujah" at least a dozen times.
It's worth noting that the Montreal native's career extended well beyond music. Before even diving into the singing scene, he worked as a novelist and poet. According to Variety, Cohen published his first volume of poetry, Let Us Compare Mythologies, in 1956. He then released three more volumes of poetry, as well as several novels. Clearly, he was an artist in all senses of the word.
Cohen's career reflected true longevity and talent. His contributions to the world will be remembered by many for years to come, and he will surely be missed.