Singer and poet Leonard Cohen announced dead at 82

Statement released on official Facebook page

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Singer Leonard Cohen has died aged 82, according to his official Facebook page.

The statement read: “It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away,” the announcement said.

“We have lost one of music’s most revered and prolific visionaries.”

The statement added that a memorial will take place in Los Angeles at a later date.

A cause of death has not yet been confirmed, but in a statement his son Adam said: “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.

“He was writing up until his last moments with his unique brand of honour.”

While Leonard’s manager, Robert Kroy, said: “Unmatched in his creativity, insight and crippling candor, Leonard Cohan was a true visionary whose voice will be sorely missed.

“I was blessed to call him a friend, and for me to serve that bold artistic spirit firsthand, was a privilege and a great gift.

“He leaves behind a legacy of work that will bring insight, inspiration and healing for generations to come.”

The Canadian artist predicted his death earlier this year in a final love letter to his dying ex-girlfriend Marianne Ihlen.

She was in the final stages of leukemia, and Cohen wrote that he thought he would ‘follow soon’.

Marianne’s friend recalled: “It took only two hours and in came this beautiful letter from Leonard to Marianne.

“It 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.

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

“And you know that I’ve always loved you for your beauty and your wisdom, but I don’t need to say anything more about that because you know all about that.

“But now, I just want to wish you a very good journey. Goodbye old friend. Endless love, see you down the road.'”

Leonard also 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.”

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.

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He released 14 albums over a 50-year career in music with his most ‘breakthrough’ hit being Hallelujah, which was one of the most covered songs in history with more than 300 artists recording their own versions.

One of Cohen’s greatest hits was 1967′s So Long Marianne, written for his former lover who also inspired his song Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye.

Cohen considered himself both a Jew and a Buddhist and from 1994 to 1999 lived as a disciple of Joshu Sasaki Roshi, a Zen Buddhist monk he met at university.

Born to a Jewish family on September 21 1934, Cohen’s first musical effort came in his teens when he formed a country music group called the Buckskin Boys.

He went on to attend McGill University where in 1956 he published his first poetry book, Let Us Compare Mythologies, to plaudits.

He counted Nobel Prize-winning singer and songwriter Bob Dylan among his fans and, despite his advancing age, was still touring earlier this year.

Celebrities have taken to social media to mourne his passing, including Bette Midler and Russell Crowe.

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