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Leonard Cohen Has Died At 82

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Musician and poet Leonard Cohen has died at 82. The sad news was announced on his Facebook page. The singer-songwriter's career spanned five decades, from his emergence on the New York scene in 1967 to his most recent album, You Want it Darker, which was released in October. The Godfather of Gloom, as he has been called, was known for his haunting, low voice and evocative songs.

"It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away," the statement read. "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." A cause of death was not provided

As Rolling Stone wrote, "Only Bob Dylan exerted a more profound influence upon his generation, and perhaps only Paul Simon and fellow Canadian Joni Mitchell equaled him as a song poet."

The writer-turned-musician was born in Montreal in 1934. He published his first poetry collection Let Us Compare Mythologies in 1955, the year after he graduated college. He then moved to New York in 1967 and released his first album, The Songs of Leonard Cohen, the following year.

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Earlier this year, he penned a final letter to his former muse Marianne Ihlen, who had inspired some of his most seminal songs, including “So Long, Marianne” and “Bird on a Wire.” Ihlen died in July at 81.

The letter said, "Well Marianne it's come to this time when we are really so old and our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon’,” a friend of Ihlen's told CBC Radio.

“Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine," Cohen wrote.

Update: Sony has confirmed that Cohen died on Monday (11/7), and was buried Thursday (11/10). His congregation, Shaar Hashomayim, released this statement:

“Magnified, sanctified be Thy holy name.” These are the words of Kaddish, the Jewish prayer of memory, that were recited at Eliezer/Leonard Cohen’s graveside on Thursday, November 10. Leonard’s wish was to be laid to rest in a traditional Jewish rite beside his parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. Leonard was a beloved and revered member of Shaar Hashomayim and he maintained a lifelong spiritual, musical, and familial connection to the synagogue of his youth. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. May his memory be a blessing to all.
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