WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Three weeks after the release of what was already expected to be his last album, singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen died Thursday.
Cohen, a poet, writer, singer and songwriter who inspired countless legendary artists, and qualified as one himself, died of unknown causes in Los Angeles at age 82.
"It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away," said a post on Cohen's official Facebook page. "We have lost one of music's most revered and prolific visionaries. A memorial will take place in Los Angeles at a later date. The family requests privacy during their time of grief."
Cohen released his 14th album, "You Want it Darker," on October 21 to widely positive reviews, and caught the world off guard a week later when he told The New Yorker he was "ready to die" -- a statement he backed off of during an event after the interview came out.
"Uh, I said I was ready to die recently," Cohen told an audience at a listening party in Los Angeles for the new album. "And I think I was exaggerating. I've always been into self-dramatization. I intend to live forever."
Cohen came to prominence in the late 1960s after abandoning a career dedicated only to literature, turning instead to poetry and songwriting when he moved to New York City. His 1967 debut album became a cult hit, and on his second album, "Songs for a Room," unleashed one of his most revered and covered songs, "Bird on the Wire."
Throughout the decades that followed, Cohen released 12 more albums which included emotional, often dark, takes on love, life, success and failure. He may be best known for the song "Hallelujuah," a meditation on self-examination and forgiveness.