Leonard Cohen dies at 82

Jewish Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, who performed for Israeli troops during the Yom Kippur War, dead at 82.

Elad Benari,

Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen
Reuters

Jewish Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen died on Thursday at the age of 82, according to Rolling Stone magazine.

Cohen's label, Sony Music Canada, confirmed his death on the singer's Facebook page.

"It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away," read the statement. "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."

No details were provided about the cause of death.

Cohen was born on September 21st, 1934, in Westmount, Quebec. He learned guitar as a teenager and formed a folk group called the Buckskin Boys.

After graduating from McGill University in Montreal, Cohen moved to the Greek island of Hydra, where he first published several collections of poetry.

Cohen visited New York in 1966 to investigate the city's folk-rock scene. It was there that he met folk singer Judy Collins, who later that year included two of his songs, including the early hit "Suzanne," on her album In My Life.

While in New York, Cohen became the songwriter of choice for artists like Collins, James Taylor, Willie Nelson and many others. He also released several albums and, in the 1970s, set out on his first of many long musical tours.

Cohen released 14 studio albums and 8 live albums. His final album, You Want It Darker, was released on October 21, days before his death.

He performed in Israel several times during his career and, during the Yom Kippur in 1973, Cohen even performed for Israeli troops on the battlefield.

During his concert in Ramat Gan on September 24, 2009, Cohen spoke Jewish prayers and blessings to the audience in Hebrew.

He opened the show with the first sentence of Ma Tovu and ended the concert reciting the blessing of Birkat Cohanim.

Cohen leaves behind two children: A son, Adam, born in 1972 who is a musician in his own right, and a daughter, Lorca, born in 1974 and named after poet Federico García Lorca.


More Arutz Sheva videos:


top