Lou Reed, Pioneer of Ungerground, Avant Garde Rock, Has Died

The songwriter, a member of the influential Velvet Underground, was 71.

Lou Reed

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Lou Reed, an icon of edgy, boundary-pushing, experimental and avant garde rock—both with the seminal, proto-alt band The Velvet Underground in the 1960s and early ’70s, and as a solo artist—passed away on Sunday at the age of 71, reports Rolling Stone.


While a cause of death has yet to be released, Andrew Wylie, Reed's literary agent, tells The New York Times that he believes a liver transplant the singer underwent in May—a procedure Billboard called "life-saving" at the time—was a factor.

At the time of the transplant, his wife, fellow pioneering musician Laurie Anderson, told Billboard: "I don't think he'll every totally recover from this, but he'll certainly be back to doing (things) in a few months."

It is a sad day indeed.

Listen to some of Reed's work with the Velvet Underground:

And as a solo artist:

Below are some of Reed's Philadelphia performances captured on YouTube

The Velvet Underground perform "Sister Ray" at Philadelphia's Second Fret in 1970 (audio only)

Lou Reed performs at The Mann in 1986 (audio only)

Lou Reed performs at the Electric Factory in 2008 (video):