Leonard Cohen is a master songwriter, musician, poet, novelist and visual artist whose stunning body of original work has touched the lives of millions with a career spanning six decades.
His explorations of spiritual, interpersonal, romantic and political themes have impacted countless contemporary recording artists and writers. He has sold over 20 million albums, worldwide and published 12 books, the most recent of which was 2006's 'Book of Longing', a collection of poetry, prose and drawings, which reached #1 on the Top 10 Hardcover Fiction Books in Canada.
Cohen's influence on musical and theatrical artists the world over is inestimable. In fact, when Cohen was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in March 2008, the revered Lou Reed singled out Leonard as one of the "highest and most influential echelon of songwriters." Cohen's songbook has been covered by hundreds of recording artists including Jeff Buckley, Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, Johnny Cash, Lou Reed, Tori Amos,NickCave, Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte, Rufus Wainwright and the Civil Wars. Tribute albums have been released in Cohen's honor inFrance,Norway,Canada,Spain, Swedish,CzechRepublic,South Africaand theUnited States. In 2008 Cohen's "Hallelujah" became the fastest-selling digital single in European history when three separate versions of the song appeared simultaneously on theUKsingles chart - Cohen's own original recording, a version from Jeff Buckley and another from X Factor winner Alexandra Burke. Additionally, Leonard's songs have been frequently selected to illustrate the emotion of motion pictures and television programs and have been heard in Watchmen, The Passion of The Christ, Natural Born Killers, The Wonder Boys, Pump Up The Volume, Secretary, The West Wing, The O.C. and many others.
Leonard Cohen has been honored as a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient (2010), inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame (2008), theCanadianMusic HallOf Fame (2006), the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (2006) and the Songwriters Hall Of Fame (2010). He has received the prestigious Principe de Asturias Prize – the highest literary award inSpain(Spain, 2011) as well as the Glenn Gould Prize, awarded to an individual for a unique lifetime contribution that has enriched the human condition through the arts (Canada, 2011). The Canadian native has earned his country's highest civilian honors - Officer of the Order ofCanada(1991), Companion to the Order ofCanada(2003), Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec (2008).
Cohen's recent return to live performance was met with extraordinary and unanimous accolades as he performed around the world from 2008 through 2010. Cohen's mesmerizing recent performances, deemed "a spiritual experience" by all accounts, totaled 247 shows in 31 countries attended by two million fans.
As the London Daily Telegraph plainly stated, each Cohen performance is "an extraordinary night of music" while the BBC asserted that, "Quite simply Leonard Cohen's voice is a force of supernature."
OLD IDEAS, an album of ten songs by Leonard Cohen, will be released by Columbia Records on January 31, 2012. The album's ten songs poetically address some of the most profound quandaries of human existence - the relationship to a transcendent being, love, sexuality, loss and death. Arguably the most overtly spiritual of the revered artist's albums, Old Ideas inspires commitment to a greater sense of compassion and decency.