Lou Reed dead at 71
Lou Reed has died at the age of 71, it has been confirmed.
The Velvet Underground icon, who had been active over six decades, is thought to have passed away after suffering complications from a liver transplant which took place in April.
No official statement has been made public, although his UK spokesman confirmed the news to Classic Rock.
New Yorker Reed started out as a record label house songwriter before he formed the Velvet Underground with John Cale, Sterling Morrison and Maureen Tucker in 1964. They released their debut album The Velvet Underground & Nico three years later, under the guidance of artist Andy Warhol, who created its memorable banana cover art. The record projected the band to stardom and led to them becoming regarded as one of the most influential rock acts of all time.
Reed quit in 1970 and turned to a solo career, after a brief stint as a typist in his father’s business. His second release, 1972′s Transformer (on which he worked with David Bowie and Mick Ronson) included the hit single Walk On The Wild Side. Its success cemented his reputation as a recording artist.
His career continued in a variety of experimental directions including 1975′s Metal Machine Music and 2011′s Lulu with Metallica. The Velvet Underground re-formed in 1990 then again three years later.
In June Reed revealed he’d had his liver replaced in an emergency operation two months earlier and said: “I am a triumph of modern medicine, physics and chemistry. I am bigger and stronger than ever. I look forward to being on stage performing, and writing more songs to connect with your hearts and spirits and the universe well into the future.”
Reed was the subject of a death rumour in 2001 after radio stations announced he’d taken a fatal drugs overdose.
Musicians and artists began paying tribute via Twitter as his passing was confirmed. Among them are:
The Who: RIP Lou Reed. Walk on the peaceful side.
Mick Mars: RIP Lou Reed
Billy Idol: Thank you and the Velvets. You were my inspiration in the 70s. Without you there would have been no punk rock.
Nils Lofgren: What an awful loss. “Life’s the only Mother I know…” Rest in peace my friend.
Hayley Williams of Paramore: Damn. Rest in peace.
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