So Long, Leonard: All The Cohen Covers In Tribute To The Legend

Coldplay, Lana Del Rey, 'SNL' and more have paid their respects to the iconic songwriter and poet since his death

Since iconic poet and songwriter Leonard Cohen passed away last week, stars across the world have been paying tribute. Some have simply posted messages to social media or talked of their love of the great man and his work in interviews. Others have covered his songs on stage, celebrating his life by recreating his art. Listen to covers from the likes of Coldplay, Lana Del Rey, SNL‘s Kate McKinnon (while dressed as Hillary Clinton) and more below.

SEE MORE: Leonard Cohen, 1934-2016 – The NME Obituary


Chris Martin opened the band’s encore at the London Palladium on November 11 with a cover of Cohen’s ‘Suzanne’. While the rest of the group waited in the wings, he performed the song solo on acoustic guitar to a hushed venue.

Lana Del Rey


The US singer posted a short clip of her singing ‘Chelsea Hotel #2’ on her Instagram page at the weekend (November 12). As with everything with Del Rey, it was artfully done, while the caption included plenty of moving sentiments. “Other than Bob and Joan you were the only person I ever really felt spoke my language,” she wrote.


Probably the most unusual tribute came from SNL‘s Kate McKinnon, who opened the latest episode of the US TV show by playing ‘Hallelujah’ on piano while dressed as Hillary Clinton. She linked the performance to the results of the US election, closing it by turning to the camera and saying: “I’m not giving up and neither should you.”

Saturday Night Live – Timeline | Facebook

Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night.


Car Seat Headrest

“RIP my favourite singing millionaire,” tweeted Car Seat Headrest’s Will Toledo after he heard of Cohen’s death, along with a link to the musician’s 1974 song ‘Field Commander Cohen’. He and his band then covered the track as they began their show at The Irenic in San Diego (November 12). Watch fan-shot footage of it below.

Car Seat Headrest – Field Commander Cohen (Leonard Cohen cover)

November 12th, 2016 @ The Irenic

Okkervil River

Austin band Okkervil River have just completed a UK tour and during their gig at Bristol’s Thekla, frontman Will Sheff dropped a solo cover of one of the tracks from Len’s 1992 album ‘The Future’, ‘Anthem’. Later in the set and the next day in Manchester, they performed a full-band version of ‘So Long, Marianne’, turning Cohen’s ode to a break-up into something more celebratory and rousing.

Leonard Cohen’s “Anthem” – live at Thekla in Bristol (UK) 11/11/16

It’s been a terrible week, over here finishing a European tour watching my country slide towards doom. The news of Leonard Cohen’s death had nothing to do with everything else in the news but, in my agitated state, seemed somehow like it did. Cohen was a songwriting hero to me.

Okkervil River – So Long, Marianne (Live at Gorilla Manchester 12th November 2016)

A fitting ode to the late Leonard Cohen from Will Sheff.

Rufus Wainwright

Wainwright posted a tribute to Cohen on his Facebook page, including a video of a performance of ‘Hallelujah’ he had done the night before news of his death broke (November 10) in Mesa, Arizona. Alongside it he wrote: “Like for most of us, for me he dwelled in a higher strata inhabited by some living but mostly passed icons who seemed to have this direct line to the galaxy, whilst at the same time knowing exactly when to take out the trash. Formidable in both the sacred and the mundane.”

Rufus Wainwright – Timeline | Facebook

This video is from the show in Mesa, AZ on Thursday night. I had very few deeply personal experiences with Leonard, enough to count on one and a half hands: a tiny little sparkling horse (horses are measured in hands).

Strictly Come Dancing

The BBC show paid tribute to Cohen with a performance of, you guessed it, ‘Hallelujah’ by André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra. The cover split opinion with fans on Twitter divided between praising it and calling it “disgusting”.

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Uploaded by None on 2016-11-13.