Music world is mourning the loss of one of its most influential musicians, Lou Reed. The former Velvet Underground star passed away from liver disease Sunday, October 27 at his home in Southampton, N.Y., on Long Island. He was 71. He is survived by his wife, composer and performance artist Laurie Anderson.
Reed underwent liver transplant earlier this year and was being treated again until a few days ago. "We did everything we could," said Dr. Charles Miller of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, where the rocker was treated. "He died peacefully, with his loved ones around him," the doctor added. "He really wanted to be at home."
"Lou was fighting right up to the very end," Dr. Miller continued as quoted by New York Times. "He was doing his Tai Chi exercises within an hour of his death, trying to keep strong and keep fighting."
Reed played with Velvet Underground until 1970, serving as a guitarist and a vocalist. After his departure from the group, he launched a solo career and continued to make music for the next four decades making a profound impact on rock music. His hits included "Walk on the Wild Side". "Lulu", his last album released in 2011, was a collaboration with Metallica.
Earlier this year after returning home following his first hospitalization, Reed wrote a review of Kanye West's album "Yeezus". "I have never thought of music as a challenge - you always figure the audience is at least as smart as you are," he wrote on The Talkhouse. "You do this because you like it, you think what you're making is beautiful. And if you think it's beautiful, maybe they think it's beautiful."
Reed's Velvet Underground bandmate John Cale paid tribute on Facebook, "The world has lost a fine songwriter and poet...I've lost my 'school-yard buddy.' " Cale and drummer Maureen "Moe" Tucker are the only remaining stars from the band's "classic" lineup. Founding member, guitarist Sterling Morrison, died in 1995, and the band's first drummer Angus MacLise died in 1979.
Condolences also poured in from other celebrities. Miley Cyrus tweeted, "noooooooooo notttttttttt LOU REED." Lena Dunham wrote, "We love you Lou. We love you Laurie." The Who posted, "R.I.P. Lou Reed. Walk on the peaceful side." Ricky Gervais remembered Reed as "one of the greatest artists of our time."
Carson Daly tweeted, "RIP Lou Reed. The Velvet Underground broke all the rules and made music and art become one in NYC during a special era- best to his family." Russell Simmons wrote, "RIP Lou Reed. New York lost one of our greatest gifts today..." David Boreanaz remembered his legacy, writing, "Your voice and music will forever be in my soul and heart."