Singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen dies at 82

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Leonard Cohen, the Canadian poet and novelist who became a singular international presence as a singer-songwriter, has died. He was 82.

A statement on his official Facebook page 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."

Only last month, Cohen released his final album, "You Want It Darker," a deeply introspective work that focused thematically on mortality.

See images of the late singer-songwriter:

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Leonard Cohen through the years
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Leonard Cohen through the years
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15: Leonard Cohen performs live on stage at O2 Arena on September 15, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Simone Joyner/Redferns via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15: Leonard Cohen performs live on stage at O2 Arena on September 15, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Simone Joyner/Redferns via Getty Images)
(GERMANY OUT) Leonard Cohen, Singer, Songwriter, Poet, Canada, performs on July 17, 2013, at O2 World, Berlin, Germany (Photo by Engelke/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - OCTOBER 31: Vocalist Leonard Cohen performs in concert on the first night of his 'Old Ideas World Tour' at The Bass Concert Hall on October 31, 2012 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Gary Miller/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 06: Singer/musician Leonard Cohen performs at Radio City Music Hall on April 6, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
Canadian singer and poet Leonard Cohen takes off his hat to salute on January 16, 2012 in Paris. Leonard Cohen's new album 'Old Ideas' will be released in France on January 30. AFP PHOTO / JOEL SAGET (Photo credit should read JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
OVIEDO, SPAIN - OCTOBER 21: Canadian singer Leonard Cohen attends the 'Prince of Asturias Awards 2011' ceremony at the Campoamor Theater on October 21, 2011 in Oviedo, Spain. (Photo by Carlos R. Alvarez/WireImage)
Classical music conductor italian Riccardo Muti (L), US lawyer and social entrepreneur Bill Drayton (C) and Fukushima japanese heroes delegation applaud to canadian poet and singer Leonard Cohen (2ndR) after his speech during the 2011 Prince of Asturias awards ceremony on October 21, 2011 in Oviedo. AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL RIOPA (Photo credit should read MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP/Getty Images)
OVIEDO, SPAIN - OCTOBER 21: Canadian singer Leonard Cohen attends 'Principe de Asturias' awards 2011 ceremony at the Campoamor Theatre on October 21, 2011 in Oviedo, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
OVIEDO, SPAIN - OCTOBER 21: Canadian singer Leonard Cohen attends 'Prince of Saturias awards 2011 Laureates' audience at the Reconquista Hotel on October 21, 2011 in Oviedo, Spain. (Photo by Carlos R. Alvarez/WireImage)
Canadian singer Leonard Cohen acknowledges applauses before the concert 'A Tribute to Leonard Cohen' at the Jovellanos Theatre in Gijon, on October 19, 2011. Cohen will receive the Prince of Asturias Award for Letters from Spain's Crown Prince Felipe during a ceremony on October 21, 2011 in Oviedo. AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)
BERLIN - AUGUST 18: Canadian singer Leonard Cohen performs live during a concert at Waldbuehne on August 18, 2010 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Frank Hoensch/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JUNE 17: Singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen attends the 41st annual Songwriters Hall of Fame at The New York Marriott Marquis on June 17, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
Canadian singer Leonard Cohen performs during the Nice Jazz Festival, on July 22, 2008 in Nice, southern France. AFP PHOTO VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
Singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, inductee, poses in the press room during the 23rd Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria on March 10, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK - MARCH 10: Honoree and singer Leonard Cohen poses in the press room during the 23rd Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria on March 10, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Canadian singer Leonard Cohen (L) performs during the Nice Jazz Festival, on July 22, 2008 in Nice, southern France. AFP PHOTO VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
Portraits of Canadian singer-songwriter, musician, poet and novelist Leonard Cohen photographed in London. Job: 55670 Ref: BMN - Exclusive (Photo by Photoshot/Getty Images)
(EXCLUSIVE, Premium Rates Apply) ATLANTA, GA - November 4: ***EXCLUSIVE*** Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen is interviewed at Stouffer's Hotel on November 4, 1975 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Tom Hill/WireImage)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - OCTOBER 3: Music legend Lou Reed rehearses for the Dublin Theatre Festival presentation of 'Came So Far For Beauty: An Evening of Leonard Cohen songs' at The Point Theatre on October 3, 2006 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by ShowBizIreland/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - JUNE 24: Singer/songwriter/poet Leonard Cohen attends the Los Angeles premiere of the film 'Leonard Cohen I'm Your Man' on June 24, 2006 at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre during the LA Film Festival in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - JUNE 24: Singer Martha Wainwright ( 2nd from left) performs at the Los Angeles premiere of the film 'Leonard Cohen I'm Your Man' on June 24, 2006 at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre during the LA Film Festival in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MAY 18: Poet and musician Leonard Cohen poses in New York on Thursday, May 18, 2006. (Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JULY 18: Canadian singer-songwriter, musician, poet, and novelist Leonard Cohen at a photo shoot on July 18, 1988 in New York City. (Photo by Waring Abbott/Getty Images)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - 18th APRIL: Canadian singer and musician Leonard Cohen performs at the Muziektheater in Amsterdam, Netherlands on 18th April 1988. (photo by Frans Schellekens/Redferns)
NEW YORK - JULY 18: Canadian singer-songwriter, musician, poet, and novelist Leonard Cohen at a photo shoot on July 18, 1988 in New York City. (Photo by Waring Abbott/Getty Images)
Leonard Cohen live at Hammersmith Apollo, London 14/02/1985 (Photo by Terry Lott/Sony Music Archive/Getty Images)
Leonard Cohen Performing At The Hammersmith Odeon, London 05/02/1985 (Photo by Tom Sheehan/Sony Music Archive/Getty Images)
Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, London, June 1974. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 01: Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen performs on stage in London circa 1975. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
ISLE OF WIGHT, UK - AUGUST 30: Canadian singer Leonard Cohen performs on stage at the Isle of Wight Festival on August 30 1970. (Photo by Tony Russell/Redferns)
ISLE OF WIGHT, UK - AUGUST 30: Canadian singer Leonard Cohen performs on stage at the Isle of Wight Festival on August 30 1970. (Photo by Tony Russell/Redferns)
Leonard Cohen live at Hammersmith Odeon, London 22/02/1979 (Photo by Terry Lott/Sony Music Archive/Getty Images)
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His elegantly penned songs, authored during a musical career that spanned six decades, won him comparison with such other songwriters of his era as Bob Dylan and Paul Simon. His best-known song, "Hallelujah," has been recorded more than 200 times. Cohen never recorded a chart single and didn't place an album in the top 10 until he was in his 70s, but his ardent fans and musical peers viewed him as a musical craftsman with few equals.

As a songwriter, his themes encompassed love in all its manifestations, religion, faith and the tenuous state of the world. Like "Hallelujah," many of his tunes — his breakthrough composition "Suzanne," "Bird on the Wire," "Tower of Song" — became much-covered keystones of the popular songbook. His longtime accompanist Jennifer Warnes recorded several of his best-known works on her 1987 Cohen recital "Famous Blue Raincoat."

See reaction to Cohen's passing on social media:

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Reaction to Leonard Cohen's death
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Reaction to Leonard Cohen's death
"Like a bird on the wire Like a drunk in a midnight choir I have tried, in my way, to be free." -Leonard Cohen
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.
R.I.P Leonard Cohen. U are without a doubt one of the greatest songs writers of any generation. THANK YOU for your life. #RIPLeonard
#RIPLeonardCohen A spirit and soul beyond compare.
Leonard Cohen has died. Another magical voice stilled.
People singing #LeonardCohen songs by streetlight and candlelight outside his Montreal home https://t.co/T27AAt8F4F
RIP Leonard Cohen. Ugh. It feels pointed, this death. It's making us remember songs like Come Healing which is a good one for these days
Leonard Cohen RIP
RIP Leonard #legend #hallelujah
RIP Leonard Cohen. A poet, songwriter and rogue till the end. Hallelujah. @RollingStone @UltClassicRock https://t.co/PWCRqdUQNM
R.I.P. the great Leonard Cohen.❤️❤️#canwebedonewith2016 https://t.co/ALxIVcfP7n
Leonard Cohen dying is so goddamned symbolic right now. You just don't let up, do you 2016?
Sad to hear we've lost the great poet Leonard Cohen. I was such a huge fan. He had the most sensual male voice of all time. #leonardcohen
leonard cohen 😥
Dear Leonard Cohen, thanks for the quiet nights, the reflection, the perspective, the wry smiles and the truth #towerofsong
A brilliant Canadian artist passed today. Leonard Cohen, rest in peace. Hallelujah.
As of the week could get any worse. Thank you Leonard Cohen, for all the things. Rest In Peace
So we lost Prince. Bowie. Leonard Cohen and elected Trump... I'm just saying it's been a pretty big let down 2016...
Rest In Peace, Leonard Cohen.
Such sad news...The great Leonard Cohen has passed away. Thank's for what your music has done for humanity... Kindness, love, beauty, poetry
R.I.P. Leonard Cohen. Hallelujah to the bar of songwriting.
“Everything has a crack in it, that's how the light gets in.” - Leonard Cohen
Devastated. He was the master. The most important songwriter in the world to me. Grace and intelligence and fierce beauty. #LeonardCohen
"Act the way you'd like to be and soon you'll be the way you act" RIP Leonard Cohen
RIP Leonard Cohen. Wow. https://t.co/YEhg8dYuvE
I've experienced the loss of many legends but never have I seen so many of their works quoted in their passing. #LeonardCohen
Leonard Cohen gone? I didn't think this week could get any worse.
Cartoon for November 10. #hallelujah #LeonardCohen #RIPLeonard https://t.co/93cAZPZ7dN
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Like his art, his life evidenced a dynamic tension between sexuality and spirituality. He was a well-known womanizer whose many romantic partners included fellow Canadian musician Joni Mitchell and actress Rebecca De Mornay. Yet he would famously reject the world of the flesh: Torn by depression and doubt about his life and career, he withdrew to spend more than five years in a Buddhist monastery; he later studied at a Hindu ashram in Mumbai.

A financial crisis late in life led to a fresh burst of fame. After his business manager embezzled millions from him, the impecunious Cohen embarked on a 2008-10 world tour that restored his fortune and renewed his reputation. His 2012 album "Old Ideas," released at the age of 77, became his highest-charting release ever, debuting at No. 3 in the U.S.

He was born in Montreal. His father was a wealthy clothier, and he grew up in the city's affluent Westmount neighborhood. He was the grandson of Jewish European immigrants, and his maternal grandfather was a rabbi and Talmudic scholar. As a teen, he developed an admiration for the poetry of Spanish martyr Federico Garcia Lorca and a fondness for American country music.

At Montreal's McGill U., he was mentored by Irving Layton and Louis Dudek and rapidly acquired a reputation as one of the country's most brilliant young poets. He published a widely praised volume of early verse, "Let Us Compare Mythologies," in 1956, before brief post-graduate stints at McGill's law school and Columbia U. in New York.

Three more volumes of poetry soon followed; Cohen completed novels "The Favorite Game" (1963) and "Beautiful Losers" (1966) on the Greek island of Hydra, where he maintained a residence for years. But frustration with his literary career and a burgeoning interest in songwriting led him to move to New York City in 1966.

Through transplanted Canadian manager Mary Martin, Cohen met the popular folksinger Judy Collins, who began enthusiastically recording his songs. Her 1966 album "In My Life" included his "Suzanne" (his best-known early composition) and "Dress Rehearsal Rag"; the following year, another three songs were featured on Collins' No. 5 set "Wildflowers" (alongside a hit version of "Both Sides Now," written by Cohen's then-companion Joni Mitchell).

Cohen was ultimately signed to Columbia Records by legendary A&R man and producer John Hammond. Though it rose no higher than No. 83 in the U.S., his first album, 1968's "Songs of Leonard Cohen," included "Suzanne" and several other staples of the musician's repertoire. He was 34 when it was released. His moody, spoken-sung renditions of three songs from the album were later employed to powerful effect in Robert Altman's 1971 revisionist Western "McCabe & Mrs. Miller."

Cohen's next two albums, "Songs From a Room" (1969) and "Songs of Love and Hate" (1971), were both produced by Bob Johnston, who previously helmed Bob Dylan's "Blonde on Blonde" and "John Wesley Harding." Johnston also assembled the Nashville-based band that supported Cohen on a chaotic, drug-suffused 1970 tour that climaxed at England's massive Isle of Wight Festival.

A 1974 album with producer-keyboardist-bandleader John Lissauer, "New Skin for the Old Ceremony," won critical praise but did nothing to enhance Cohen's American sales. Sessions for a second album with Lissauer were shelved, and Cohen set to work in the studio with another client of his manager Marty Machat, producer Phil Spector.

Cohen and Spector co-wrote eight sex-steeped songs, which were recorded in L.A. sessions that saw guest appearances by Dylan and poet Allen Ginsberg. The notorious, hard-drinking producer's behavior became erratic. Spector famously held a gun to the musician's throat and said, "I love you, Leonard"; Cohen replied, "I hope so, Phil." The resultant album, the opulently produced "Death of a Ladies' Man," was released by Warner Bros. to mixed reviews in 1977.

Cohen returned to Columbia for the jazzy, Middle East-infused "Recent Songs" (1979). He collaborated with Canadian musician Lewis Furey on the 1984 film "Night Magic."

In '84, Columbia refused to release Cohen's album "Various Positions," and the collection was issued by independent label Passport. Ironically, the John Lissauer-produced set contained the song that ultimately became the songwriter's best-known composition: After a potent cover appeared on Jeff Buckley's 1994 album "Grace," "Hallelujah" took on the status of a contemporary standard. The same year, Cohen released a new book, a collection of modern psalms, "Book of Mercy."

The dark, often bleakly humorous "I'm Your Man" (1988) and "The Future" (co-produced by then-fiancee Rebecca De Mornay in 1992) were solid and well-reviewed latter-day additions to Cohen's catalog. But, suffering from a deepening depression, he retreated to L.A.'s Mt. Baldy Zen Center in 1994. There, he lived as a monk in a sparsely furnished hut for more than five years, acting as personal assistant to his master Kyozan Joshu Sasaki, known as Roshi.

After leaving Mt. Baldy to study with Hindu teacher Ramesh Balsekar in Mumbai, Cohen returned to L.A. and to music. His albums "Ten New Songs" (2001) and "Dear Heather" (2004) were collaborations with producer-musician Sharon Robinson and his companion Anjani Thomas, respectively; he also produced the Anjani album "Blue Alert" (2006).

In 2005, Cohen discovered that his longtime manager and onetime lover Kelley Lynch had stolen $5 million from his accounts. Though he won a civil suit against Lynch, he was unable to recover the money. (Lynch was also found guilty of harassing Cohen and sentenced to 18 months in jail in 2012.)

In 2006, Cohen gave what amounted to his first public performance in more than a decade — an impromptu appearance with Anjani Thomas during a signing of his new "Book of Longing" at a Toronto bookstore.

It set the stage for Cohen's 2008 world tour, which stretched to two years, featured dates at the Montreux and Glastonbury festivals and played to rapturous audiences. It also grossed an estimated $50 million and restored the musician to solvency. Nearing 80, Cohen had attained the greatest celebrity of a 50-year career in literature and music.

The top-10 arrival of the spare and drily witty "Old Ideas" in 2012 was succeeded by another series of concert dates in Europe and America that year and in 2013. "Popular Problems" was released in fall of 2014, shortly after Cohen's 80th birthday.

Cohen's many honors included his 2008 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a 2010 Lifetime Achievement Grammy.

He is survived by a son and daughter from his relationship with Suzanne Elrod.

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