Leonard Norman Cohen, CC GOQ (born 21 September 1934) is a Canadian Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter, musician, poet, and novelist. His work often explores religion, isolation, sexuality, and interpersonal relationships. Cohen has been inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. He is also a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation's highest civilian honour. In 2011 Cohen received a Prince of Asturias Award for literature.
In a speech at Cohen's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on 10 March 2008, Lou Reed described Cohen as belonging to the "highest and most influential echelon of songwriters."
The critic Bruce Eder wrote an assessment of Cohen's overall career in popular music, writing, "[Cohen is] one of the most fascinating and enigmatic … singer/songwriters of the late '60s … [and] has retained an audience across four decades of music-making … Second only to Bob Dylan (and perhaps Paul Simon) [in terms of influence], he commands the attention of critics and younger musicians more firmly than any other musical figure from the 1960s who is still working at the outset of the 21st century."