- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 10, 2016

Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen has died, his official Facebook page said Thursday evening.

“We have lost one of music’s most revered and prolific visionaries,” the page said, without specifying a cause of death. He was 82.

In a career dating back to the 1960s, the enigmatic performer, who also published books of poetry, achieved his greatest commercial success near the end of his life.

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His last three studio albums — “Old Ideas” from 2012, “Popular Problems” from 2014 and “You Want It Darker” from 2016 — all topped the chart in Canada and made at least the Top 15 in the U.S., a level none of his other records had.

While his musical style tended toward minimalism and soft-folk music, he recorded an album “Death of a Ladies Man” with legendary “wall of sound” producer Phil Spector. The constant was a haunting bass voice and dark arrangements surrounding serious subjects from love to death.

AllMusic critic Bruce Eder said that in terms of influence on current performers, Mr. Cohen was “second only to Bob Dylan (and perhaps Paul Simon) … [among] musical figure from the 1960s who is still working at the outset of the 21st century.”

After dabbling in poetry and writing an unsuccessful novel, Mr. Cohen came to New York’s thriving folk music scene in the late 1960s, collaborating with Judy Collins and writing her early hit “Suzanne.” Other artists he wrote for included James Taylor and Willie Nelson.

The sparely-produced albums that made his name and career in the late-1960s and early-70s were “Songs of Leonard Cohen,”“Songs from a Room” and “Songs of Love and Hate,” and “New Skin for the Old Ceremony.”

According to the Facebook page, “a memorial will take place in Los Angeles at a later date. The family requests privacy during their time of grief.”

Cohen has two children — son Adam and daughter Lorca — from a 1970s relationship with Los Angeles artist Suzanne Elrod.

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