Leonard Cohen (born 21.9.1934) Leonard Cohen is a highly revered Canadian songwriter, musician and poet.
Childhood: Leonard Cohen was born to his Jewish parents in Montreal, Quebec and it was here that his father owned a clothing store, though he died when Leonard was just nine years old. Leonard attended Herzliah High School, along with the poet Irving Layton.
Cohen learned to play the guitar as a teenager and formed a folk-country group named the Buckskin Boys. When his father died, he was left with enough money in a trust fund to allow him to pursue his interests in the arts.
A Life in the Arts: As a poet, Leonard Cohen was influenced by the likes of Walt Whitman, Federico Garcia Lorca and Henry Miller. Cohen's own poetry was published for the first time in the volume entitled Let Us Compare Mythologies, whilst he was still a student. His 1961 collection The Spice-Box of Earth raised his profile in literary circles, especially in Canada. He went on to publish further volumes of poetry, as well as works of fiction (such as the Favourite Game) whilst living on the Greek island, Hydra.
Leonard Cohen then moved to the United States in 1967, in order to develop his career as a folk musician. He became involved in Andy Warhol's New York art scene, mingling with notorious figures such as Nico and the Velvet Underground.
Cohen's song 'Suzanne' became a hit for the folk singer Judy Collins and his own performances soon became a focus of attention for Columbia Records. Leonard Cohen's debut album, Songs of Leonard Cohen was released in 1969 and became a cult hit, especially in the UK.
The follow-up albums from Leonard Cohen were equally popular: Songs From a Room (1969), Songs of Love and Hate (1971) and Live Songs (1973) and New Skin For the Old Ceremony (1974). This prolific output was also punctuated by an inclusion of Cohen's music on the soundtrack to the Robert Altman film McCabe & Mrs. Miller.
Whilst these early albums were being promoted, Leonard Cohen also toured the US, Canada and Europe, with Jennifer Warnes as backing singer and with the pianist and arranger John Lissauer contributing to the live set-up.
Death of a Ladies' Man was released in 1977, with Phil Spector on production duties. It has been reported that Phil Spector (well-known for his volatile behaviour) threatened Cohen with a crossbow. Artists such as The Beatles and The Ramones have also worked with Spector and made similar comments regarding his behaviour. Deciding to return to a more traditional sound, Leonard Cohen made Recent Songs, which he co produced with Joni Mitchell's sound engineer, Henry Lewy.
The 1980s saw Leonard Cohen release albums such as Dance Me To The End of Love and I'm Your Man. The former included the song 'Hallelujah', which has famously been covered by Jeff Buckley, John Cale, KD Lang and the UK X Factor winner Alexandra Burke. The latter included one of Cohen's most popular songs, 'First We Take Manhattan'.
'Everybody Knows' has been included on two film soundtracks: 1990's Pump Up The Volume and 1994's Exotica. Three tracks from Leonard Cohen's album The Future were featured in the controversial film Natural Born Killers.
In 1994, Leonard Cohen retreated from public life and joined the Mt. Baldy Zen Centre, where he remained and became ordained as a Buddhist monk. Ten New Songs was Leonard Cohen's first release since joining the centre and was released in 2001.
This was followed three years later with Dear Heather, which was mainly a collaboration with his partner of the time, Ajani Thomas, though it also saw a return to working with the composer Sharon Robinson. Anjani and Leonard then went on to co-write another album, Blue Alert.
In 2006, Leonard Cohen published a book of drawings and poetry, entitled Book of Longing. Cohen's first public appearance in 13 years came at an in-store event at a Toronto bookstore. He was accompanied by Ron Sexsmith and Barenaked Ladies. An eagerly-awaited tour then followed in 2008, including a much-lauded performance at that year's Glastonbury Festival.
When Leonard Cohen was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, he was introduced by Lou Reed.
Sir Elton John says Justin Bieber was “hanging by his fingertips” to a cliff before the release of his new album.
The iconic British singer has had decades of experience in the music industry, and while some of his peers may have been hoping Justin would fall from grace following incidents of bad behaviour, Elton is pleased to see the 21-year-old’s career is going from strength to strength. Justin is enjoying global success with latest record Purpose, which has spawned hit singles including Sorry and Love Yourself, and Elton insists the singer deserves to be treated as a respectable artist.
“He was rebelling because he was like, ‘For f**k’s sake, why haven’t I had a life?’” Elton said in an interview with Britain’s The Sun newspaper. “I think it’s the best news, that he’s made a really classy pop record. He’s a very, very good singer.
“He was literally clinging by his fingertips to the White Cliffs of Dover wasn’t he? And a lot of people were willing him to fall but not me.”
Continue reading: Elton John: ‘Bieber Was Hanging By His Fingertips’
Veteran singer Leonard Cohen has vowed to celebrate turning 80 by taking up smoking again.
The Hallelujah singer, who gave up cigarettes after years of heavy smoking, celebrates the milestone birthday on Sunday (21Sept14) and will ring it in with a cigarette.
Speaking at a press event in New York City on Thursday (16Sept14), the singer told reporters, "Quite seriously, does anyone know where you can buy a Turkish or Greek cigarette? I'm looking forward to that first smoke. I've been thinking about that for 30 years. It's one of the few consistent strings of thoughts I've been able to locate."
Continue reading: Leonard Cohen To Start Smoking Again At 80
Greek singer Nana Mouskouri has been given a huge boost as she prepares for a series of comeback shows to mark her upcoming 80th birthday - old friend Leonard Cohen, who is also turning 80 next month (Oct14) has given her a rousing endorsement.
The veteran is eyeing a return to the stage after retiring in 2008, with tour dates in England and Scotland planned for later this month (Sep14).
Mouskouri, who turns 80 on 13 October (14), admits she felt compelled to make a return to the limelight, telling Wenn, "A world
Continue reading: Leonard Cohen Still A Big Fan Of Fellow 80-Year-old Mouskouri
Leonard Cohen - Singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen seen leaving Madigans Bar on O'Connell Street with an unidentified woman. Cohen is due to perform at The O2 on 11th - 12th September. - Dublin, Ireland - Monday 9th September 2013
The singer/writer is putting Judaism first
Leonard Cohen has rescheduled a date on his tour due to his religious faith. The gig, originally penned in for September 14th, will now take place a day later on the 15th, and AEG have apologized for any inconvenience caused.
The promoter was forced to release a statement saying that when Cohen “learned that two of his UK concerts were scheduled on days of solemn religious observance, he respectfully asked AEG to move the dates”. It continued: “We at AEG, and Leonard, apologise deeply for the inconvenience this will cause,” adding they hoped the fans would understand."
Continue reading: Leonard Cohen’s Jewish Faith Leads To Rearranged Dates
Veteran singer Leonard Cohen has pulled out of two upcoming concerts due to religious reasons.
The Hallelujah hitmaker is rescheduling gigs in Leeds, England and London on his upcoming U.K. arena tour as they coincide with two holidays in the Jewish faith.
Cohen, who is Jewish by birth, was due to play Leeds' First Direct Arena on 5 September (13), during the two-day Jewish New Year celebration Rosh Hashanah, but the concert has been moved to 7 September (13).
Continue reading: Leonard Cohen Reschedules Shows Due To Religious Reasons
Jon Bon Jovi insist the rumours guitarist Richie Sambora quit their What About Now because the pair didn't get on are untrue.
Richie Sambora didn't quit Bon Jovi's Because We Can tour over money.
Singer Jon Bon Jovi insists the guitarist - who suddenly left the band ahead of a show in Calgary, Canada on April 2 - hasn't fallen out with him over finances, as suggested by some sources.
He told the Austin American-Statesman newspaper: ''I think Richie's doing all right, I haven't spoken to him. We were surprised.
Continue reading: Jon Bon Jovi Denies Richie Sambora Feud
Leonard Cohen will play a one-off show in London on Friday 21 June 2013, with tickets going on sale on Friday (14.12.12) at 9am through www.aeglive.co.uk.
Leonard Cohen will play a one-off show in London next summer.
The 'Hallelujah' singer - who returned to the stage in 2008 after a 15-year break - will perform at The O2 on Friday 21 June, with tickets going on sale on Friday (14.12.12) at 9am through www.aeglive.co.uk.
Leonard, 78, recently said he feels like he's ''scraping the bottom of the barrel'' when writing songs.
Continue reading: Leonard Cohen To Play London Show
Leonard Cohen has criticised organisers for cancelling his gigs at England's Hop Farm, telling fans the decision was made without his approval.
The Canadian star was due to perform two consecutive shows at Hop Farm in Kent last weekend (08-09Sep12) as part of his Old Ideas World Tour, but the concerts were moved to London's Wembley Arena.
Appearing at the second of the rescheduled gigs on Sunday (09Sep12), the veteran singer apologised for the venue change, which was made without an explanation.
He told the crowd, "I want you to know I learned about it the same time you did. There are unseen hands that manipulate the marketplace. Hands that I never get to see, or crush."
Continue reading: Leonard Cohen Upset Over Gig Mix-up
Leonard Cohen rolled back the years at the Wembley Arena in London over the weekend, playing both September 8th and 9th. However, the veteran crooner was initially supposed to be performing the shows at Hop Farm in Kent, and had some pretty stern words for the organisers who announced only last month that the venue would be getting switched into the UK capital.
Midway through his set, The Press Association reports that Cohen apologised to the crowd in attendance over the change of venue. He said: "I want you to know I learned about it the same time you did. There are unseen hands that manipulate the marketplace. Hands that I never get to see, or crush." Continuing, he referred to a line from his latest album Old Songs, and claimed that the decision had been made by "a lazy b****** living in a suit".
Continue reading: Leonard Cohen Attacks London Gig Organisers For Change Of Venue
Alanis Morissette will continue to write songs until she lays on her deathbed, reports The List. The singer has also described her depression when not writing new material.
Continue reading: Alanis Morissette: "I'll Write Songs Until Im Dead"
Date of birth
21st September, 1934
Leonard CohenI'm your manTrailer StreamSongwriter. Poet. Counter-culture icon. Consummate ladies' man. Since bursting onto...