Rufus Wainwright Remembers Leonard Cohen: 'We Need You Now Up There as Much as We Did Down Here'

Wainwright covered "Hallelujah" & has a child with Cohen's daughter.

The news that prolific singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen died at age 82 on Monday shattered the music world, but his fellow artists are taking solace in the extraordinary catalog the Canadian legend leaves behind. His most famous song, "Hallelujah," will especially live on, given its many cover versions over the years, including one from Rufus Wainwright.

"Like for most of us, for me he dwelled in a higher strata inhabited by some living but mostly passed icons who seemed to have this direct line to the galaxy, whilst at the same time knowing exactly when to take out the trash," Wainwright lamented in a statement about Cohen's death. "Formidable in both the sacred and the mundane."

Wainwright's rendition of "Hallelujah" was featured on the soundtrack of 2001's Shrek. The singer also has familial ties to the Cohen family: Leonard's daughter Lorca and Rufus are co-parents to their daughter Viva Katherine Wainwright Cohen, who is raised by Lorca along with Rufus and his spouse Jorn Weisbrodt. 

"I would have liked to have had more time to ask him more questions, and certainly now in this pathetic dinghy, adrift in a violent sea, we all need help in maneuvering a truly busted rudder through a series of magnificent typhoons. But it's ok, it's all in the music," Wainwright continued. "Farewell Leonard, we need you now up there as much as we did down here.  Love always, Rufus."