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Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen, a Canadian poet, novelist, songwriter and singer, was born in Montreal, Quebec, where he attended McGill University. His first poetry book, Let Us Compare Mythologies (1956) was published while he was an undergraduate. In 1961, The Spice Box Of Earth made him widely famous.

After moving to Greece, Cohen published Flowers For Hitler in 1964, and the novels The Favorite Game (1963) and Beautiful Losers (1966) after which he went to the United States and began to perform in folk festivals. His album The Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967 in music) was followed by Songs From a Room, Songs of Love and Hate (1971 in music), Death of a Ladies' Man, Recent Songs, Various Positions, I'm Your Man (1988 in music), The Future (1992 in music) and Ten New Songs (2001 in music).

Cohen has continued to record intermittently since that time, his cryptic yet satisfying lyrics and evocative sound continuing to attract discerning music lovers of all ages.

Many of Cohen's songs have been interpreted by other artists, often receiving far more popular attention than Cohen's own, typically minimalistic arrangements. Examples include First We Take Manhattan (Joe Cocker, Jennifer Warnes, REM), Bird On A Wire (The Neville Brothers, Fairport Convention, Judy Collins), and Hallelujah (Bob Dylan, John Cale, Rufus Wainwright, Jeff Buckley). As of December 31, 2002, the site www.leonardcohenfiles.com had counted a total of 759 published cover versions of Cohen's songs.

  • In 1991, Leonard Cohen was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
  • In 1996, Cohen ordained as a Zen Buddhist monk at the Mount Baldy Zen Center near Los Angeles, California as Jikan, a Dharma name meaning silent one. He left in Spring 1999.
  • In 2003, he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada, Canada's highest honour.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.

Leonard Cohen Facts

OccupationMusician, Writer
BirthdaySeptember 21, 1934 (87)
BirthplaceMontreal, Quebec, Canada

Selected Filmography

Leonard Cohen
Live In London
Leonard Cohen I'm Your Man
Leonard Cohen: Live in London 2009
Songs From The Road
Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man
Ladies & Gentlemen...Mr. Leonard Cohen
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