Belfast Telegraph

World pays tribute to Loenard Cohen, the singer who touched generations of music fans

By Laura Harding

Musicians, writers and filmmakers quoted their favourite Leonard Cohen lyrics as tributes poured in for the singer, songwriter and poet after his death at the age of 82.

The Canadian artist passed away peacefully at his home in Los Angeles, his son, Adam, said.

No further details have been given of his death, which comes just weeks after he said he was "ready to die" in an interview.

He released his 14th and final studio album, You Want It Darker, in October.

"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," his son told Rolling Stone magazine.

"He was writing up until his last moments with his unique brand of humour."

A memorial service will be held in Los Angeles, a statement on Cohen's website said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid tribute to the Grammy Award-winner, who was also bestowed with the nation's highest honour, being made a Companion of the Order of Canada in 2003.

"No other artist's music felt or sounded like Leonard Cohen's. Yet his work resonated across generations. Canada and the world will miss him," Mr Trudeau wrote on Twitter.

The PM also quoted a line from Hallelujah, which was famously covered by Jeff Buckley and inspired hundreds more interpretations.

The Recording Academy, which honoured Cohen with a lifetime achievement Grammy in 2010, said it was "deeply saddened" by the news.

"Leonard became one of the most revered pop poets and a musical touchstone for many songwriters," chief executive Neil Portnow added.

"His extraordinary talent had a profound impact on countless singers and songwriters, as well as the wider culture.

"We have lost a cherished artist and our sincerest condolences go out to Leonard's family, friends, and collaborators. He will be missed terribly."

Harry Potter author JK Rowling, actress and activist Mia Farrow, model Bianca Jagger and composer Eric Whitacre tweeted, "There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in," from Cohen's song Anthem.

During a career spanning six decades, Cohen earned a reputation for combining spirituality and sexuality and had a string of hits, including Suzanne and Bird On A Wire. He counted Nobel prize-winning singer and songwriter Bob Dylan among his fans and despite his advancing age was still touring earlier this year.

Dylan told The New Yorker in October that Cohen's best work was "deep and truthful, multidimensional" and "surprisingly melodic".

News of Cohen's death emerged with a statement posted on his official Facebook page.

It 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."

Irish president Michael D Higgins said: "It is with great sadness that I have learnt of the death of Leonard Cohen, author, painter, poet and singer.

"Leonard Cohen has left a lasting legacy and his work will continue to inspire current and future generations."

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