Lou Reed -- a member of the influential 1960s rock band the Velvet Underground and a solo musician for the four decades that followed -- has died at the age at the of 71, Rolling Stone Magazine first reported Sunday. His literary agent has since confirmed his death, due to a liver-related ailment. Reed underwent a liver transplant in May.
Reed was a songwriter, vocalist and guitarist for the Velvet Underground, which was formed in the mid-1960s. It was embraced by pop artist Andy Warhol and featured in Warhol’s roadshow known as the Exploding Plastic Inevitable. The band was known for a musical sound that married avant-garde minimalism with psychedelic rock and Reed’s punk-poetic lyricism. The Velvet Underground came to represent the vibrant bohemian New York art scene led by Warhol at the time, as well as its darker undercurrents, including Reed’s rampant drug use.
Once he left the Velvet Underground in 1970, Reed continued to make music as a solo artist, as well as numerous collaborations. His most recent album was a project with Metallica called “Lulu” that was released in 2011.
He is survived by his wife Laurie Anderson, a performance artist.