Legendary musician Lou Reed – who died on Sunday – passed away from liver disease, his doctor has confirmed.
The legendary Velvet Underground frontman and pioneer of modern rock passed away on Sunday aged 71, and it has now been confirmed he died of complications with his liver, which he had been suffering with for a year.
The ‘Perfect Day’ star had undergone a liver transplant in April and also had to cancel his Coachella Music and Arts Festival in California due to his illness.
The transplant initially appeared to be a success and Lou was looking forward to the future and to returning to performing.
He wrote on Facebook in June: “I am a triumph of modern medicine, physics and chemistry. I am bigger and stronger than ever.”
However, more recently the singer and guitarist had taken a turn for the worse and when it was confirmed the disease had entered its final stages he refused further treatment and returned home.
His doctor, Charles Miller, told the New York Times: “We all agreed that we did everything we could.”
Since the highly influential musician passed away, tributes have come flooding in from some of the most respected people in music.
His former Velvet Underground bandmate, John Cale, said: “The world has lost a fine songwriter and poet … I’ve lost my ‘school-yard buddy’.”
David Bowie referred to Lou as a “master” while Talking Heads frontman David Byrne said: “His work and that of the Velvets was a big reason I moved to New York and I don’t think I’m alone there. We wanted to be in a city that nurtured and fed that kind of talent.”
Stars pay tribute to Lou Reed
The former Velvet Underground star died from complications stemming from a liver transplant earlier this year, and ex-bandmates, friends and fans have all posted emotional tributes to the singer and songwriter, who was widely regarded as one of the most influential of his generation, and significantly helped change the course of rock music.
John Cale – who formed the Velvet Underground with Lou – wrote: “The world has lost a fine songwriter and poet … I’ve lost my ‘school-yard buddy’.”
Friend and collaborator David Bowie posted a picture of them both together on Facebook, with the caption: “It is with great sadness that we report the death of Lou Reed who died today aged 71 … David Bowie said of his old friend: ‘He was a master.’ “
Iggy Pop tweeted simply: “Devastating news.”
KISS guitarist Paul Stanley wrote: “R.I.P. Lou Reed. A musician, artist and trailblazer who played by his own rules.”
As well as his work with The Velvet Underground in the late 60s, Lou had a successful solo career, penning hits including ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ and ‘Perfect Day’ in the 70s, and continued releasing albums up until 2011.
His last project was a collaboration with heavy metal band Metallica, called ‘Lulu’.
Speaking about working with him, drummer Lars Ulrich has previously said: “He’s a fascinating human being, he’s brilliant musically, intellectually, but I think he feels misunderstood.”
Writer Salman Rushdie also paid tribute, writing: “My friend Lou Reed came to the end of his song. So very sad. But hey, Lou, you’ll always take a walk on the wild side. Always a perfect day.”
Lou was married twice during his life, to British designer Sylvia Morales for ten years until the early 90s and then to performance artist Laurie Anderson, whom he wed in 2008.