It’s been a rough year for iconic Canadian music.
In May it was announced that Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Now, the world is mourning the death of Canadian cultural icon and legendary musician Leonard Cohen, who died late last night at the age of 82.
“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 humour,” said his son, Adam, in a statement.
Just last month the Montreal native had released his 14th studio album, You Want It Darker, to cap off an artistic career that lasted over half a century.
“We have lost one of music’s most revered and prolific visionaries,” reads a statement on Cohen’s Facebook page.
Much like David Bowie, who passed away in January of this year, Cohen was in complete control of his art until the moment he passed. Even that was under his calculation.
“Maybe I’ll get a second wind, I don’t know. But 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 said in a rare interview with the New Yorker last month.
Last year, Cohen recited Canadian poet John McCrae’s ‘In Flanders Fields’ to mark the poem’s 100th anniversary. Take two minutes to absorb a most moving coming together of Canadian icons on this day of remembrance: