Lou Reed, celebrated singer, songwriter, and guitar player passed away this Sunday at the age of 71. The Brooklyn-born musician fronted the inspirational 1960s band The Velvet Underground and launched a solo career in 1972 that led to 40 years of solo work. The Velvet Underground became one of the most influential rock bands of the ’60s, particularly when they collaborated with artist Andy Warhol. Musician Brian Eno once said of the band’s lasting effects on the music world: “The first Velvet Underground album only sold 10,000 copies, but everyone who bought it formed a band.” (As quoted by the Chicago Tribune). Social media and online publications have been ablaze with tributes to the rock legend.
Although the cause of death is unreported, Reed (an admitted long time heavy drinker and drug user) underwent a liver transplant earlier this year. In June he called himself ” a triumph of modern medicine.” Reed is survived by his wife of five years, performing artist and musician Laurie Anderson.