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Lou Reed, Rock Icon, Dead at 71

By Jess Wisloski | October 27, 2013 3:04pm
 Reed, a founder of the Velvet Underground, died Sunday, according to Rolling Stone.
Lou Reed Dead at 71, Report Says
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NEW YORK CITY — Lou Reed, a musical icon known for transforming rock and roll and bringing on the advent of art rock died on Sunday, according to a report by Rolling Stone magazine. He was 71 years old.

The report, published at 1:15 p.m., said the cause of death had not yet been released, but noted that Reed, a longtime fixture in New York City, had undergone a liver transplant in May. He died at his Southampton, N.Y. home, The New York Times reported.

As a frontman for the Velvet Underground, Reed and co-founder John Cale brought poetic lyrics and raw electric guitars married with tom-tom rhythms to the American rock scene. The band is credited with ushering in everything from punk and metal to modern pop music since the group's entry to the music world in the 1960s.

Reed was also known for collaborating with Andy Warhol and the Factory, which spawned the band. Warhol, who managed the Velvet Underground, also designed the band's famous 1967 debut album cover, a two-tone print of a peeling banana. Reed was regarded as a godfather in New York's emerging music scene in the '70s and '80s.

Many of his songs' lyrics — both with the band and in his solo career afterward — portray visions of New York City's gritty interior and as idealized by outsider characters, including in "Walk on the Wild Side," "Coney Island Baby," "Perfect Day" and "Dirty Blvd." His 1989 conceptual album "New York" directly referenced several city figures and news stories of the time.

Reed was born in Brooklyn in 1942, Rolling Stone reported, and wed musician Laurie Anderson in 2008, with whom he performed.