Leonard Cohen has died at the age of 82, according to his official Facebook page. Known primarily as a singer and songwriter, he began his creative career in the 1950s as a poet and novelist, eventually focusing his energies on music in 1967. His first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen, won a devoted audience. As he continued to record, his popularity grew, and his songs began appearing on television and in movies.
Director Robert Altman used three of Cohen’s songs in the landmark Western McCabe & Mrs. Miller.
Much later, Cohen’s song “Everybody Knows” helped establish the moody atmosphere in Pump Up the Volume (1990).
In Oliver Stone’s controversial drama Natural Born Killers, Cohen’s “Waiting for the Miracle” was used in the opening moments. Stone also used “The Future” and “Anthem” on the soundtrack.
The animated smash hit Shrek made memorable use of John Cale’s cover version of Cohen’s haunting composition “Hallelujah,” a song that has been covered dozens of times by other artists.
All told, Cohen’s songs have been heard in more than 200 movies and TV shows. The documentary Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man, provided an oversight of his life and career, interspersed with concert performances of his songs by a variety of artists. Here’s Cohen performing “Tower of Song” with U2.
Cohen’s death prompted a flood of reactions on social media. Vulture rounded up a collection of dozens of thoughts. Typical are these few.
Leonard Cohen has died. Another magical voice stilled.
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) November 11, 2016
Dear Leonard Cohen, thanks for the quiet nights, the reflection, the perspective, the wry smiles and the truth #towerofsong
— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) November 11, 2016
A brilliant Canadian artist passed today. Leonard Cohen, rest in peace. Hallelujah.
— Kiefer Sutherland (@RealKiefer) November 11, 2016