Rolling Stone is reporting that Lou Reed, Rock N Roll pioneer and influential frontman of The Velvet Underground, has died at the age of 71. His cause of death has yet to be revealed but Reed underwent a liver transplant earlier this year.
In the mid-'60s, Reed began working with musician John Cale, and formed a band called The Primatives, which morphed into The Warlocks, and with the addition of guitarist Sterling Morrison and drummer Maureen Tucker, evolved into the Velvet Underground. The band quickly became a part of Andy Warhol's New York City art scene in the late '60s, and released The Velvet Underground & Nico in 1967. While the record wasn't a commercial hit, Reed's depiction of the underbelly of life in the Big Apple was massively influential. The group released three more albums before Reed split to become a solo artist. The Velvets went on to influence countless bands, many of whom covered their songs, from U2 to R.E.M. and everyone in between.
His 1972 album Transformer (produced by David Bowie)featured his biggest mainstream hit, "Walk On The Wild Side," as well as another signature tune, "Satellite Of Love." Reed released a number of wildly diverse solo albums and projects throughout his lengthy career, from the infamous, all-guitar-noise experimental Metal Machine Music to 2011's Metallica collaboration Lulu. Reed also developed a reputation over the years as one of Rock's most notable cantankerous personalities, especially when it came to interviews.
In the '90s, Reed began a relationship with musician-artist Laurie Anderson, and the pair became a staple of the New York City art world. They married in 2008.