‘Hallelujah’ singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen died in his sleep, his manager says
Singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen died in his sleep in his home after he’d fallen during the night, his manager said.
In a statement posted to cohencentric.com, Cohen’s manager and RK Management President Robert Kory addressed the singer’s death:
“Leonard Cohen died during his sleep following a fall in the middle of the night on November 7th. The death was sudden, unexpected, and peaceful. He is survived by his children Adam and Lorca, and his three grandchildren Cassius (Adam’s son), and Viva and Lyon (Lorca’s daughter and son).”
Cohen was 82 years old and lived in Los Angeles.
“Unmatched in his creativity, insight, and crippling candor, Leonard Cohen was a true visionary whose voice will be sorely missed,” Kory said in confirming Cohen’s death last week. “He leaves behind a legacy of work that will bring insight, inspiration, and healing for generations to come.”
In songs such as “Suzanne,” “Bird on the Wire” and “Hallelujah,” and in his poems and two novels, the Montreal-born artist provided a rarefied alternative to more accessible troubadours, employing meticulous language to plumb the vagaries of the human condition.
His dry, monotone voice, which over the years deepened to a cigarette-charred whisper, contributed to Cohen’s popular image as a depressed — and depressing — artist. He teasingly alluded to that stereotype in one of his songs, referring to “the patron saint of envy and the grocer of despair.”
Cohen continued releasing albums in the early 2000s, but his plans for retirement hit a snag when he discovered that his former business manager, Kelley Lynch, had drawn $5 million from his savings. Cohen filed suit in 2006 and was granted a default judgment of $9 million in Los Angeles County Superior Court, but he was never able to collect from Lynch.
With his funds depleted, Cohen, who kept homes in Montreal and Los Angeles, returned to the road at age 73, in Europe and the U.S. in 2008 and 2009. The strain sometimes showed — Cohen fainted on stage in Barcelona in 2009 — but a 2009 album, “Live in London,” was recorded during the tour.
Despite his burdens, Cohen had seemingly left the grocer of despair far in the past, happy in the relationship with singer Thomas, which began in 1999.
“I don’t know what happened,” he said in a 2007 interview. “That background of distress dissolved. I’m worried now that my songs are too cheerful because I’m feeling well. I think I may be irrelevant pretty soon.”
Richard Cromelin contributed to this article
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