October 28th, 2013
10:19 AM ET

Lou Reed Dies At 71

Lou Reed, who took rock 'n' roll into dark corners as a songwriter, vocalist and guitarist for the Velvet Underground and as a solo artist, died Sunday, his publicist said. He was 71.

CNN's Nischelle Turner reports.

The publicist, Peter Noble, confirmed Reed's death but released no details. Reed had undergone a liver transplant in May, his wife, the musician/performance artist Laurie Anderson, disclosed over the summer.

Reed was a rock pioneer who went from record label songwriter to a member of the short-lived but innovative and influential Velvet Underground. The band and Reed's solo work tackled taboo topics like drug addiction, paranoia and sexual deviancy in songs that were largely spare, muscular and often saturated in feedback.

"Lou Reed's influence is one that there are really only a tiny handful of other figures who you can compare to him," said Simon Vozick-Levinson, a senior editor at Rolling Stone.

"He showed that rock music and high art could be one in the same" Vozick-Levinson, says on "New Day" Monday.

'He challenged convention and did things his own way."

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