Leonard Norman Cohen, CC (born September 21, 1934 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada) is a Canadian poet, novelist, and singer-songwriter. His musical career has largely overshadowed his prior work as a poet and novelist, although he has continued to publish poetry sporadically after his breakthrough in the music industry.
Musically, Cohen's early songs are based in folk music, both for melodies and instrumentation, but, beginning in the 1970s, his work shows the influence of various types of popular music and cabaret music. Since the 1980s he typically sings in a deep bass register, with synthesizers and female backing vocals.
Cohen's songs are often emotionally heavy and lyrically complex, owing more to the metaphoric word play of poetry than to the conventions of song craft. His work often explores the themes of religion, isolation, and complex interpersonal relationships.
Cohen's music has become very influential on other singer-songwriters, and more than a thousand cover versions of his work have been recorded. He is also popular in his native land, having been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame and awarded the Order of Canada, the nation's highest civilian honor.