Lewis Allan “Lou” Reed (March 2, 1942 – October 27, 2013) was an American rock musician and songwriter. After being guitarist, vocalist, and principal songwriter of the Velvet Underground, his solo career spanned several decades. The Velvet Underground were a commercial failure in the late 1960s, but the group has gained a considerable cult following in the years since its demise and has gone on to become one of the most widely cited and influential bands of the era.
After his departure from the group, Reed began a solo career in 1972. He had a hit the following year with “Walk on the Wild Side”, but subsequently lacked the mainstream commercial success its chart status seemed to indicate. In 1975, Reed released a double album of feedback loops, Metal Machine Music, upon which he later commented, “No one is supposed to be able to do a thing like that and survive.” Reed was known for his distinctive deadpan voice, poetic lyrics and for pioneering and coining the term ostrich guitar
In April 2013, Reed underwent a liver transplant in Cleveland. Afterwards he claimed on his website to be ‘bigger and stronger’ than ever. On October 27, 2013, Reed died at the age of 71 at his home in Southampton, New York, on Long Island. Tributes were paid to Reed on Twitter, including those from Salman Rushdie, Samuel L. Jackson, Lenny Kravitz, Ricky Gervais, Ryan Adams, Elijah Wood, and many others. John Cale, his Velvet Underground bandmate, posted on his Facebook: “The world has lost a fine songwriter and poet…I’ve lost my ‘school-yard buddy’”. (Source: Wikipedia)