|Birth name||Leonard Norman Cohen|
September 21, 1934|
Westmount, Quebec, Canada
November 7, 2016 (aged 82)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Leonard Norman Cohen (September 21, 1934 – November 7, 2016) was a Canadian singer, songwriter, musician, poet, novelist, and painter. His work was mostly about religion, politics, sexuality, and personal relationships most notably seen in his best known work "Hallelujah".
Cohen was added into both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame as well as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation's highest civilian honor. In 2011, Cohen received one of the Prince of Asturias Awards for literature and the ninth Glenn Gould Prize.
Early life[change | change source]
Cohen was born on September 21, 1934 in Westmount, Quebec into a middle-class Canadian Jewish family. His mother was Marsha (Masha) Klonitsky and his father was Nathan Cohen. Cohen's father died when he was nine years old.
Career[change | change source]
Cohen started a career as a poet and novelist during the 1950s and early 1960s. Cohen did not start his music career until 1967, at the age of 33. His first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967), was followed by three more albums of folk music: Songs from a Room (1969), Songs of Love and Hate (1971) and New Skin for the Old Ceremony (1974).
His 1977 record Death of a Ladies' Man was co-written and produced by Phil Spector. In 1979, Cohen returned with the more traditional Recent Songs, which blended his acoustic style with jazz and Oriental and Mediterranean influences.
"Hallelujah" was first released on Cohen's studio album Various Positions in 1984. Cohen wrote around 80 draft verses for "Hallelujah", with one writing session at the Royalton Hotel in New York where he was reduced to sitting on the floor in his underwear, banging his head on the floor. This became Cohen's best known work. I'm Your Man in 1988 marked Cohen's most popular album with the song "Everybody Knows". In 1992, Cohen released its follow-up, The Future, which had dark lyrics and references to political and social unrest.
Cohen returned to music in 2001 with the release of Ten New Songs, which was a major hit in Canada and Europe. His eleventh album, Dear Heather, followed in 2004. After a successful string of tours between 2008 and 2010, Cohen released three albums in the final four years of his life: Old Ideas (2012), Popular Problems (2014) and You Want It Darker (2016), the last of which was released three weeks before his death.
Personal life[change | change source]
Though never married, Cohen had two children: Adam and Lorca with his girlfriend Suzanne Elrod. He was also romantically linked with Marianne Ihlen, Janis Joplin and Rebecca De Mornay.
Death[change | change source]
His funeral was held on November 10, 2016 in Montreal, at a cemetery on Mount Royal, his congregation Shaar Hashomayim confirmed. As was his wish, Cohen was laid to rest with a Jewish rite, in a simple pine casket, in a family plot.
Titles and honors[change | change source]
- In 1968, Cohen refused a Governor General's Award (in category for English language poetry or drama) for Selected Poems 1956–1968.
- In 1991, Cohen was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
- In 1993, Cohen won the Juno Award for Male Vocalist of the Year.
- In 1994, Cohen won another Juno Award this time for Songwriter of the Year.
- In 1996, he was ordained a Rinzai Buddhist monk.
- In 2001, Cohen was awarded a SNEP Award for more than 100,000 copies sold of Ten New Songs in France. Photo of the award.
- In 2003, he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada, Canada's highest civilian honour.
- In 2004, Beautiful Losers was chosen for inclusion in Canada Reads 2005. It was selected and originally to be championed by singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright; however, tour commitments meant that Wainwright had to be replaced by singer Molly Johnson.
- In 2006, Cohen was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.
- In 2007, Cohen received a Grammy for Album of the Year as a featured artist on Herbie Hancock's River: The Joni Letters.
- In 2008, Cohen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
- In June 2008 he was made a Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec 
References[change | change source]
- Kapica, Jack (August 25, 1973). "The trials of Leonard Cohen". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
- de Melo, Jessica (December 11, 2009). "Leonard Cohen to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at 2010 Grammys". Spinner Canada. Archived from the original on February 24, 2010. Retrieved February 24, 2010.
- The International Who's Who. 2004. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
- "Inductee: Leonard Cohen – Into the consciousness – Hour Community".
- Barton, Laura (18 December 2008). "Hail, Hail, Rock'n'Roll". The Guardian.
- "Leonard Cohen's third act – Macleans.ca". September 21, 2016.
- "Leonard Cohen died in his sleep after fall, manager says – Fox News". November 16, 2016.
- Stang Ihlen, Marianne Christine (July 29, 2016). "Leonard Cohen Muse Marianne Ihlen, of "So Long, Marianne", Passes Away". Everything Zoomer. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
- "Leonard Cohen’s muse Marianne Ihlen dies at age 81". Toronto Star, August 4, 2016 (printed version, August 5, 2016, page A3).
- Cohen, Leonard (June 1, 1993). "Knowing Rebecca de Mornay Like Only Leonard Cohen Can". Retrieved November 19, 2010.
- Beeston, Laura (November 12, 2016). "Montrealers make pilgrimage to Leonard Cohen's old haunts". Toronto Star. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
- "Leonard Cohen Died on Monday, Sony Confirms". Billboard.
- "Leonard Cohen, singer-songwriter of love, death and philosophical longing, dies at 82". The Washington Post. November 10, 2016.
- "Leonard Cohen died Monday, funeral held Thursday in Montreal". Montreal Gazette. November 11, 2016. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
- "Leonard Cohen had simple funeral". Bang Showbiz. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
- "Indictees for 2008". Rock and Roll Hall of Fame official website. 2007-12-13. Retrieved 2008-03-11.
Other websites[change | change source]
- Leonard Cohen on IMDb
- Stafford, Jeff (August 21, 2010). "Bird on a Wire (1972)". TCM Movie Morlocks.
Documentary account of Cohen's European tour
- Brittain, Donald; Owen, Don (1965). "Ladies and Gentlemen... Mr. Leonard Cohen" (video). Documentary. National Film Board of Canada (NFB).
- "Canadian Poetry: Studies/Documents/Reviews". The Proceedings of the Leonard Cohen Conference (22–24 October 1993) (Red Deer College) 33. Fall 1993. http://www.canadianpoetry.ca/cpjrn/vol33/vol33index.htm.