The singer, whose work explored religion, politics and sexuality, and spanned nearly 50 years, died at his home in Los Angeles.
Reporter: Yasmin Jeffery and Holly Patrick | Sub-Editor: James Brookes
Music icon Leonard Cohen’s death has been confirmed by his label, Sony Music, in a post to Facebook.
The statement read: “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 label is yet to confirm the cause of death, or the exact date the Hallelujah singer died.
In a statement to Rolling Stone, Cohen’s eldest son, Adam, said: “My father passed away peacefully at his home in Los Angeles with the knowledge that he had completed what he felt was one of his greatest records.
“He was writing up until his last moments with his unique brand of humor.”
Tributes quickly flooded in for the star, with his manager, Robert Kory, writing on social media: “Unmatched in his creativity, insight and crippling candor, Leonard Cohen was a true visionary whose voice will be sorely missed.
“I was blessed to call him a friend, and for me to serve that bold artistic spirit firsthand, was a privilege and great gift. He leaves behind a legacy of work that will bring insight, inspiration and healing for generations to come.”
In October, Cohen told David Remnick from The New Yorker he might not be able to finish the compositions he was working on, suggesting that he knew his health was deteriorating: “I don’t dare attach myself to a spiritual strategy. I don’t dare do that. I’ve got some work to do. Take care of business. I am ready to die. I hope it’s not too uncomfortable. That’s about it for me.”
He later backtracked in an interview with Billboard, stating that he always “over-dramastised” his life and that he “intends to live forever”.
And he will, through his music.
Stars have paid tribute to the influential singer on social media as the world struggles to digest the news.
Bette Middler wrote: “Leonard Cohen has died. Another magical voice stilled.”
Leonard Cohen has died. Another magical voice stilled.
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) November 11, 2016
British singer Lily Allen alluded to the US presidential elections as she tweeted: “As if this week could get any worse.”
As of the week could get any worse. Thank you Leonard Cohen, for all the things. Rest In Peace
— lily allen (@lilyallen) November 11, 2016
JK Rowling shared Cohen’s infamous lyrics: “There is a crack in everything, That’s how the light gets in.”
"There is a crack in everything,
That's how the light gets in."
RIP Leonard Cohen.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) November 11, 2016
Justin Timberlake remarked that Leonard Cohen is a “spirit and soul beyond compare”.
A spirit and soul beyond compare.
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) November 11, 2016
Best Coast took to Twitter to thank Cohen for “the most beautiful song ever written”.
Oh man. 💔 RIP Leonard Cohen. Thank you for the most beautiful song ever written: https://t.co/pqVvKvVDy3
— Best Coast (@BestCoast) November 11, 2016
An impromptu vigil was last night held outside the singer’s Montreal residence, with fans coming out in droves to light candles and leave flowers outside the home.
Cohen was famed for his nostalgic voice and emotive songs which dealt with intricate subjects including love, hate, war and peace, depression and joy.
During the 60s and 70s, he had a deep influence on his audience, perhaps only matched by the likes of Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan.
Cohen’s work has been covered by musicians including R.E.M, the Pixies and of course Jeff Buckley’s 1994 version of Hallelujah, which popularised the song all over again.
The music icon took a break from his career in 1995 to become an ordained buddhist monk, before returning to the scene in 2008.
Cohen released his last album, You Want It Darker, last month.