Legendary rocker, Velvet Underground singer, Lou Reed dead at 71
Lou Reed, singer songwriter, guitarist and leader of seminal rock band the Velvet Underground, has lost his battle with lover cancer, passing away at his Long Island home on Sunday. He was 71.
Reed’s doctor, Charles Miller from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, where Reed had been receiving treatment until a few days ago confirmed the star had died from liver disease. Reed received a liver transplant in May.
Reed rose to fame in the 1960s as the front man for Andy Warhol sponsored band, The Velvet Underground, and quickly secured his place as a rock ‘n’ roll poet – unafraid to tackle taboo subjects with his lyrics.
In the 1970s Reed went solo and in 1972 delivered what some would call his most noteworthy album, Transformer, produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson. The Berlin album was to follow. Reed continued to produce further albums at a prodigious rate into the eighties, nineties and 2000s each one delivering the latest incarnation of Reed, who once described his albums (if listened to in chronological order) as his version of the great American novel.
Reed remained incredulous of his fame, once saying "Seriously, I was a guy playing bar bands,’’ he said. ‘‘I wasn’t a singer, I wasn’t up front, I was in back - on the guitar, playing my three or four chords. In Velvet Underground, though, ‘if you wrote it, you were the one who sang it.’’
Reed is survived by his wife, performance artist and musician, Laurie Anderson