Velvet Underground legend Lou Reed dies aged 71

Tributes have poured in from the music industry for Lou Reed (Photo: Danny Norton)

Tributes have poured in from the music industry for Lou Reed (Photo: Danny Norton)

Rock legend Lou Reed, who began his career fronting the 1960s band Velvet Underground, died yesterday at the age of 71.

The exact cause of death has not been reported, but according to his literary agent, it was a “liver-related ailment”.

The singer and guitarist, whose hits include “Perfect Day” and “Walk on the Wild Side”, underwent a liver transplant in May following decades of drink and drug addiction.

Mr Reed said at the time: “I am a triumph of modern medicine, physics and chemistry. I am bigger and stronger than ever.”

Born Lewis Allan Reed at the Beth El hospital in Brooklyn in 1942, Mr Reed was brought up in an upper middle-class Jewish family in Freeport, New York.

After meeting Andy Warhol in the early 1960s, he became a pioneer in fusing art and music. Later in his solo career, he had successful collaborations with artists including David Bowie and Metallica.

He is survived by his second wife, musician and performing artist Laurie Anderson.

Last updated: 7:23am, October 29 2013