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.
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.
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I'd be lying if I said it didn't kind of break my heart that I never got to tell you how much you changed me. Not that it would've mattered to ya, it's just that other than Bob and Joan you were the only person I ever really felt spoke my language. I love you as a real fan and I always looked for a little bit of you in all of my future friends. God bless.
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.”
Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night.
Posted by Saturday Night Live on Saturday, November 12, 2016
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.
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.
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.”
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). 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. But fortunately I now covet these few personal moments, I'm pretty sure it's about 7 in total (a sacred number of course!) And credit them with grabbing hold and shifting the direction of the restless path my life has always taken. It was never a fundamental shift, just a kind yet brutally strong nudge towards where I really ought to be heading. I would have liked to have had more time to ask him more questions, and certainly now in this pathetic dinghy, adrift in a violent sea, we all need help in maneuvering a truly busted rudder through a series of magnificent typhoons. But it's ok, it's all in the music. Farewell Leonard, we need you now up there as much as we did down here. Love always, Rufus.
Posted by Rufus Wainwright on Friday, November 11, 2016
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”.