The death of world-renowned musician Leonard Cohen has prompted an outpouring of support and condolences from both the international stage and his beloved hometown of Montreal.
“I was just glad I was able to know him,” said songwriter Martha Wainwright, adding that he lived a long and incredible life.
“He was very smart, when he spoke you listened.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the singer-songwriter, who died at the age of 82, would be missed by both Canada and the world.
No other artist’s music felt or sounded like Leonard Cohen’s. Yet his work resonated across generations. Canada and the world will miss him.
Artists and musicians also immediately took to social media to mourn the loss of Cohen and pay tribute to his life’s work.
“A brilliant Canadian artist passed today,” actor Kiefer Sutherland wrote.
Many shared messages of grief to mark the passing of the musical legacy and his powerful poetry. Justin Timberlake described Cohen as a “spirit and soul beyond compare.”
“One of the greatest, deepest and wisest to ever bless us with his songs,” wrote musician Tom Morello.
A spirit and soul beyond compare.
Others took to reciting the lyrics and prose of the acclaimed musician, poet, novelist and artist.
A brilliant Canadian artist passed today. Leonard Cohen, rest in peace. Hallelujah.
The announcement of Cohen’s passing comes just a few weeks after his album You Want It Darker was released on Oct. 28, 2016.
“Cohen’s distinctive voice and storytelling through music explored themes of love, loss, and hope. He was amongst the most influential songwriters in the world,” said Peter Herrndorf, the National Arts Centre’s president and CEO, in a statement.
“I remember you well, in the Chelsea hotel, you were famous- your heart was a legend…” see you on the other side Leonard Cohen.
‘One of our greatest Montrealers’
Flowers and candles have been placed on the doorstep of Cohen’s former home in the Plateau-Mont-Royal neighbourhood, where Montrealers gathered to bid adieu and pay their respects by singing some of his best-known songs.
Cohen touched the lives of many Montrealers, even if they had never met him.
“He just seemed to have a singular mission to seek the truth unselfishly,” said Joshua Levy.
It was one of many tributes, with another held at the city’s Bell Centre during the Montreal Canadiens hockey game.
Win Butler, from Montreal band Arcade Fire, recalled that Cohen had made him feel at home in Montreal when he had first arrived in the city.
Next year can only be better. Seeing Leonard Cohen walking on St Laurent street when I was 21 was enough to make me feel like I had a home
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said the city would lower its flag to half-mast to honour Cohen, who was born in Westmount, Que., in 1934.
“We will pay tribute as we should to one of our greatest Montrealers,” said Coderre.
Tonight we lost one of our greatest ambassador and icon Leonard Cohen.Flags will be half mass.My thoughts and prayers for family of Mr Cohen
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard offered his condolences to Cohen’s loved ones, adding that Quebec had lost an internationally renowned artist.