Lou Reed dead at 71

Lou Reed performs during a concert in Valencia.
(Jose Jordan / AFP/Getty Images)

Lou Reed, anchor of New York rock band the Velvet Underground and widely regarded as one of pop’s most influential musicians, has died, the Associated Press reported Sunday. He was 71.

Though a cause of death has not yet been revealed, the Associated Press cited a “liver-related ailment.”

After canceling a scheduled appearance at April’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Reed underwent a liver transplant.

In a statement after the surgery, he said he looked “forward to being onstage and performing.”


His most recently released recorded album was “Lulu,” a 2011 collaboration with heavy metal act Metallica.

PHOTOS: Lou Reed | 1942-2013

Known as much for his acidic personality as his confrontational rock ‘n’ roll, Reed in 2008 recalled the founding mission statement that would define the Velvet Underground, a group heralded for its tales of urban depravity.

Speaking at the Austin, Texas, music industry conference South by Southwest, Reed said the band was forbidden from playing blues or R&B licks, wanting the act to stand as a direct contrast to much of what was popular in the mid-'60s.


“This is going to be city,” Reed said of the Velvet Underground. “This is going to be pure.”

Some of the act’s best known songs include “Sweet Jane,” “I’m Waiting for the Man” and “Heroin.”


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