Montréal hosts posthumous tribute to iconic singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen

November 7, 2017

One year after he passed away, iconic singer-songwriter, novelist, poet, and SOCAN member Leonard Cohen was honoured with a star-studded Tower of Song tribute concert held at the Bell Centre, in his much-beloved (and self-mythologized) hometown of Montréal.

Organized by the legendary artist’s son, Adam Cohen – himself a singer-songwriter – the memorial featured performances of Leonard Cohen’s most-loved songs, from a wide-ranging parade of renowned musicians, including Coeur de Pirate, Elvis Costello, Lana Del Rey, Philip Glass, Sting, members of The Lumineers, and many more.

Among the many standout performances by SOCAN members, Ron Sexsmith played “Suzanne,” Feist sang “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye,” Patrick Watson performed “Who By Fire,” and kd lang sang her stunning rendition of “Hallelujah.” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also paid tribute onstage, saying “Leonard was an extraordinary Canadian, but he was a giant of Montreal.”

“Leonard Cohen was a legend among legends,” said SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste a year ago, in an obituary written when the organization learned of his passing. “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, and his songs will live on.”

CBC/Radio-Canada will broadcast the tribute concert tonight, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, at 8:00 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT) on CBC Radio 2, CBCMusic.ca, ICI Musique and ICIMusique.ca. The concert will also be televised on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, at 8:00 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT) on CBC and ICI Radio-Canada Télé.

Earlier this year, SOCAN spoke with Adam Cohen about producing his father’s last album, a process he described as “riding high, on some kind of mysterious wind.”