SOCAN Mourns the Passing of Leonard Cohen

Friday, November 11, 2016

SOCAN – the Society of Composers, Authors & Music Publishers of Canada – expressed its deep sadness after the passing of Leonard Cohen, one of the organization’s most iconic members, at the age of 82.

Born in the Westmount area of Montréal, Cohen was the creator of hundreds of works, including international classic songs such as “Suzanne,” “Tower of Song,” and “Hallelujah.” He was honoured numerous times for works that achieved official SOCAN Classic status, and he was celebrated at the SOCAN Awards in Toronto and the Gala de la SOCAN in Montréal on numerous occasions.

“Leonard Cohen was a legend among legends,” said Eric Baptiste, CEO of SOCAN. “With iconic songs that defined an entire era, he inspired many generations all over the world. SOCAN was honoured to count him among our most prominent members. He will be sorely missed, but his songs will live on.”

“I am simply devastated by the passing of Leonard Cohen,” said SOCAN Board President and Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame Board Chair, Stan Meissner. “Leonard remarked at his Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame induction, ‘If I knew where the good songs came from, I would go there more often.’ That humility was part of what made him so wonderful, as we know he went there so much more often than most. His work represents a tower of song that serves as an inspiration to us all, brilliantly illustrating the beauty and artistry of songwriting.”

Leonard Cohen’s connection with and love for his hometown of Montréal remained strong throughout his life. “One could run into Leonard Cohen at Bagel etc. on St-Laurent Blvd, in the heart of the Mile-End, having breakfast at the counter, a stone’s throw away from his apartment,” said Geneviève Côté

SOCAN Chief Québec Affairs Officer. “Montréal was where he was born and, even though he belongs to the global music community, he was québécois and should be remembered that way.”

Cohen was a member of SOCAN for more than four decades, and Canada’s largest music organization collected royalties for his music catalog played worldwide.


SOCAN connects more than four-million music creators worldwide and more than a quarter-million businesses and individuals in Canada. Nearly 150,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers are its direct members, and more than 130,000 organizations are Licensed To Play music across Canada. With a concerted use of progressive technology and a commitment to lead the global transformation of music rights, with wholly-owned companies Audiam and MediaNet, SOCAN is dedicated to upholding the fundamental truths that music has value and music creators and publishers deserve fair compensation for their work. For more information:

Media contacts:

SOCAN: Andrew Berthoff, 416-442-3836,