Canadian singer Leonard Cohen performs at the international Festival of Beincassim, July 20, 2008.
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Leonard Cohen, rock music's man of letters – whose songs fused religious imagery with themes of redemption and sexual desire, earning him critical and popular acclaim – has died at age 82 .The statement did not provide further details on Cohen's death, and representatives for the singer could not be reached immediately for comment. It said a memorial was planned in Los Angeles, where Cohen had lived for many years.Before long, critics were comparing him to Bob Dylan for the lyrical force of his songwriting.Although he influenced many musicians and won many honors, including induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Order of Canada, Cohen rarely made the pop music charts with his sometimes moody folk-rock.Cohen's most famous song, "Hallelujah," in which he invoked the biblical King David and drew parallels between physical love and a desire for spiritual connection, has been covered hundreds of times since he released it in 1984 .Many of Cohen's songs became hits for other artists, including Judy Collins, who helped Cohen gain fame by recording some of his early compositions in the 1960s.Cohen's nasal voice and deep-bass, conversational vocals were criticized by some as being monotone.
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