This weekend saw ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ pay tribute to the late, great Leonard Cohen with a performance of his staple classic ‘Hallelujah’ – but it divided opinion among viewers and fans.
Last week, it was announced that the ‘Suzanne’ musical icon had passed away at the age of 82. The world of music and countless artists he inspired rushed to pay tribute to the legend, with Nick Cave hailing him as ‘the greatest songwriter of them all‘ and Rufus Wainwright writing “we need you now up there as much as we did down here“.
Then, BBC One’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing sought to pay tribute – with a song and dance in his memory as André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra covered ‘Hallelujah’.
However, the performance split opinion among viewers and fans – with some praising it as ‘beautiful’ while others thought it was ‘disgusting’:
— StrictlyComeDancing???? (@Strictly_Fan18) November 13, 2016
— John Eldon (@john__eldon) November 13, 2016
Has anyone else noticed #strictly are now killing off singers they choose for show dances… Pete burns and now Leonard Cohen
— Kerry (@Kez) November 13, 2016
Could have done without the (unintentionally) comic Andre Rieu-ruins-Leonard Cohen 'tribute' on #strictly
— Dr Sally-Anne Huxtable (@NarfolkBroad) November 13, 2016
— My world of Hit&Miss (@HitAndMisSports) November 13, 2016
Yes let's remember Leonard Cohen without bothering with the lyrics. #strictly
— Dan Rebellato (@DanRebellato) November 13, 2016
— Musing Much (@musing_much) November 13, 2016
This weekend, Cohen’s son Adam shared a touching tribute to his father.
“My sister and I just buried my father in Montreal,” Cohen wrote. “With only immediate family and a few lifelong friends present, he was lowered into the ground in an unadorned pine box, next to his mother and father. Exactly as he’d asked.
“As I write this I’m thinking of my father’s unique blend of self-deprecation and dignity, his approachable elegance, his charisma without audacity, his old-world gentlemanliness and the hand-forged tower of his work. There’s so much I wish I could thank him for, just one last time. I’d thank him for the comfort he always provided, for the wisdom he dispensed, for the marathon conversations, for his dazzling wit and humor. I’d thank him for giving me, and teaching me to love Montreal and Greece.
“And I’d thank him for music,” Cohen continued. “First for his music which seduced me as a boy, then for his encouragement of my own music, and finally for the privilege of being able to make music with him. Thank you for your kind messages, for the outpouring of sympathy and for your love of my father.”