What Caused Leonard Cohen's Death?

It's a tough day for music fans. News broke on Thursday that singer Leonard Cohen has died at age 82, according to an announcement on his Facebook page. As devastating as this update is, you may be wondering: What caused Cohen's death? This information has not yet been provided. Instead, the Facebook post read:

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.

While the cause remains a mystery, the singer, poet, and author appeared to recently come to terms with mortality. In October, Cohen made headlines for admitting he was ready to die. He told The New Yorker, "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.” While it sounds morbid, it appears as though he accepted the concept of death, and that he was taking care of all necessary business beforehand. That included releasing his 14th studio album, You Want It Darker, last month.


Like most people as they age, Cohen struggled with his health. In that aforementioned New Yorker profile, he admitted, "I don’t know how many other things I’ll be able to get to, because at this particular stage I experience deep fatigue. ... There are times when I just have to lie down. I can’t play anymore, and my back goes fast also." Again, this kind of quote definitely hurts to read. There may be some comfort knowing that he also mentioned that at that point in his life, spiritual things "have fallen into place, for which I am deeply grateful."

Shortly after these statements related to death, he admitted he tended to "self-dramatize." According to Billboard, Cohen cleared the air on Oct. 13 and said, "Uh, 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."

However, near end of October, Adam Cohen, the singer's son who helped produce his latest album, told Vulture that his father's health was not the best. He actually got pretty blunt. "He’s 82 and he’s put on some very hard miles. He’s suffered from multiple compression fractures," Adam explained. "These are not things that heal very quickly in old folk. It’s safe to say that he’s dealing with failing infrastructure and subsequent pain and discomfort. As for the rest, I’m not interested in conjecture."

All of these aspects may have contributed to his passing. But as the singer said himself, he will "live forever" — or at least through all the iconic music he left behind.