Justin Trudeau remembers Leonard Cohen

Justin Trudeau remembers Leonard Cohen”

"There is art that expresses its era and art that transcends it".

With a lyric that balances irony against clear-eyed optimism, Cohen sings of democracy's long-delayed arrival to a country that claims to have invented it.

"Thank you for everything Leonard", a message posted on the wooden door read. Locals considered him as one of their own.

Cohen's tribute to fellow musician Janis Joplin, who died of an overdose in 1970, has become infamous for one line referencing a sex act but look beyond that and Cohen's way with words shines.

It has not been revealed how Cohen died, but he suggested he had come to terms with his approaching death in the same article. His career as a musician lasted almost 50 years, with Cohen releasing his final album, You Want It Darker, just a few weeks ago.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described Cohen as "a most remarkable Montrealer" who had "managed to reach the highest of artistic achievement, both as an acclaimed poet and a world-renowned singer-songwriter". "A memorial will take place in Los Angeles at a later date".

Although he influenced many musicians and won many honours, including induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Order of Canada, Cohen rarely made the pop music charts with his sometimes moody folk-rock.

The last time producer Patrick Leonard visited Leonard Cohen, the two were in talks to work on an R&B album. A visit to NY turned him onto the city's growing folk music scene, and by 1967 he released his first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen. Jeff Buckley's version was one of the most notable, and drew legions more fans to Cohen's music just as he was living as a monk in California.

Cohen never seemed quite as comfortable on stage as he did writing and recording, chalking it up to being a late starter among his folk cohort.

No further details have been given of his death, which comes just weeks after he said he was "ready to die" in an interview. Then he added, "I intend to live forever". Aside from his son, Adam, he is survived by a daughter, Lorca, and three grandchildren. "I think it's what you do when you grieve for someone you didn't know but affected your life so profoundly". Several generations have hummed and danced to famous songs of Suzanne to So Long Marianne, through Bird on the Wire (taken by many artists such as Johnny Cash and Joe Cocker), Seems So Long Ago, Nancy and especially Hallelujah.

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