In the chronically painful year of 2016, it seems that the cruel world continues to fuel itself by taking some of our greatest artistic visionaries away from us. Aside from a highly discomforting Trump presidency, we’ve also had to deal with the passing of David Bowie, Prince, Gene Wilder, among other legendary individuals.
Now, this grueling year has marked the passing of yet another musical legend, the 82-year-old singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen. Known for his expansive body of acoustic songs and poetic lyrics, Cohen had continued writing poems and music from his younger days all the way up to his recent death. In fact, the muscian had just released his final record You Want It Darker at the end of October, a solemn album packed with thought-provoking words and calming guitar work.
Although Cohen died Monday, the news of his death came out late last night. His Facebook page had the following announcement:
"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."
The Canadian born artist had moved to New York City in 1966 to find his place in the music business, and quickly became perhaps the most underrated songwriter of his time. Known best for his famous biblical song “Hallelujah”, a number of Cohen’s other songs were made popular by other well-known artists. Nonetheless, his massive body of work, which spans over 14 studio albums, are filled with wise political and spiritual revelations that are much-needed in this year of confusion and frustration.
Though he rarely breached the top charts during his career, the poetic visionary was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Order of Canada. Cohen served as a major influence for many musicians and artists, and is solemn folk-rock is arguably as powerful as that of the recent Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan. Needless to say, Leonard Cohen’s prophetic wisdom and moody music will be deeply missed by many, especially in a year where we need more guidance than ever.
To end this ode to the musical legend, here's one of our personal favorites by Cohen: