Leonard Norman Cohen CC GOQ (born September 21, 1934 in Westmount, Quebec) is a Canadian singer-songwriter, musician, poet and novelist. Cohen published his first book of poetry in Montreal in 1956 and his first novel in 1963.
Cohen's earliest songs (many of which appeared on the 1967 album Songs of Leonard Cohen) were rooted in European folk music. In the 1970s his music encompassed pop, cabaret and world music. Since the 1980s his high baritone voice has evolved into lower registers (bass baritone and bass), with accompaniment from electronic synthesizers and female back up singers.
His work often deals with the exploration of religion, isolation, sexuality, and complex interpersonal relationships.
Cohen's songs and poetry have influenced many other singer-songwriters, and more than a thousand renditions of his work have been recorded. He has been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame and is also a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation's highest civilian honour. Cohen was inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with a speech by Lou Reed on March 10, 2008 for his status among the "highest and most influential echelon of songwriters".