Thursday, June 17, 2010


Canadian singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen turned to songwriting after establishing himself as an acclaimed novelist and poet. His resultant songs have earned him an adoring following of music fans and fellow artists, including Judy Collins, who expanded his audience in 1966 when she recorded his song "Suzanne" (actor/singer Noel Harrison also had a hit with it) and Jennifer Warnes, who had been a backup singer for Leonard Cohen before releasing her own acclaimed album of his material, "Famous Blue Raincoat," in 1987. His uniquely intellegent output was celebrated in 2006 with the documentary "Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man." Key songs in the Leonard Cohen catalog include "Bird on the Wire," "Hallelujah," "Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye," "So Long, Marianne" and "Suzanne."

Leonard Cohen received the Grammy 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of his legendary career of artistic accomplishments in songwriting and performing. Over 2,000 covers of Leonard Cohen's songs have been recorded by artists such as R.E.M., Bob Dylan, Elton John, Judy Collins, Willie Nelson and most recently, Justin Timberlake. Leonard Cohen always had an interest in music, but it wasn't until 1966 that his focus turned to songwriting after gaining international recognition for his poetry. Before he released a single song, Leonard Cohen sold the highly successful "Suzanne" to Judy Collins, which later was included on Leonard Cohen's debut album, Songs of Leonard Cohen in 1967 along with "Sisters of Mercy," and "So Long, Marianne."

His next two albums, Songs from a Room and Songs of Love and Hate solidified Leonard Cohen's iconic status with "Bird on the Wire" and "Famous Blue Raincoat." Leonard Cohen's multidimensional lyrics have captured fans spanning generations and nationalities for decades. Leonard Cohen was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (2006) and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2008) for his outstanding work. Leonard Cohen's world tour, which inaugurated in May 2008, is still playing to sold-out crowds.