Leonard Cohen, the Canadian poet and novelist who abandoned a promising literary career to become one of the foremost songwriters of the contemporary era, died on Monday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 82.
Mr. Cohen’s record label, Sony Music, confirmed the death on Thursday night but provided no details on the cause.
Adam Cohen, his son and producer, said Mr. Cohen had died “with the knowledge that he had completed what he felt was one of his greatest records.” His final studio album, “You Want It Darker,” was released in October.
“He was writing up until his last moments with his unique brand of humor,” his son said.
Over a musical career that spanned nearly five decades, Mr. Cohen wrote songs that addressed — in spare language that could be both oblique and telling — themes of love and faith, despair and exaltation, solitude and connection, war and politics.
More than 2,000 recordings of his songs have been made, initially by the folk-pop singers who were his first champions, like Judy Collins and Tim Hardin, and later by performers from across the spectrum of popular music, among them U2, Aretha Franklin, R.E.M., Jeff Buckley, Trisha Yearwood and Elton John.