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Lou Reed Dead at 71

Lou Reed Dead at 71

Rocker Lou Reed, who canceled much-anticipated appearances at SoCal's Coachella festival in April before it was revealed that he had undergone a liver transplant, died in Southampton, New York today, sources close to him confirmed to various news organizations.

The New York Times says the hard-living artist, influential in the evolution of rock from white kids' versions of blues and R&B to something artistically unsettling and punk, indeed died of liver disease:

He shocked with songs like "Heroin" and "Walk on the Wild Side," the latter his only top 10 hit. But perhaps his greatest influence, both with the Andy Warhol-sponsored Velvet Underground in the late 1960s and then on his own as a solo artist, was in pushing other bands to challenge the pop status quo and laying the groundwork for new forms of rock.

Brian Eno has said, "The first Velvet Underground album only sold 10,000 copies, but everyone who bought it formed a band."

Reed was married to music artist Laurie Anderson.

Today musicians and celebrities in L.A. lamented his passing.

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