Lou Reed Dies at 71: Celebrities React

The Velvet Underground frontman influenced countless artists, many of whom took to Twitter to express their sadness at his passing

Whether you considered him a punk, a poet or a straight-up rock-and-roller, Lou Reed was one of the most influential and respected musicians of the past century. On Sunday, Velvet Underground fans were stunned to learn that the legendary frontman had passed away at the age of 71. Reed, who had a liver transplant in May, reportedly died of liver disease. He had recently cancelled several appearances, but kept quiet about the severity of his illness.

In the later years of his life, Reed was influential in the cultural scene of New York City, where he lived with his wife, performance artist Laurie Anderson. Of course, it's the earlier years we remember the best. Reed first gained notoriety as part of the experimental rock band The Velvet Underground, whose popularity has grown exponentially since they broke up in 1973. Reed left the band in 1970 and embarked on a solo career, releasing classic songs like "Walk on the Wild Side" and "Perfect Day." Throughout his career, Reed pushed the boundaries of rock music, experimenting with unconventional vocal styles, challenging lyrics, and the use of non-musical sounds like guitar feedback.

The singer-songwriter is widely considered a pioneer, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a musician, artist or rebel who wasn't influenced by his work. Here is what other rock stars and celebrities are tweeting in the wake of Reed's unexpected death.













Donna Kaufman is a freelance writer and iVillage contributor. Find her on Twitter and Google+

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