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13. Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen, who passed away last year at age 82, was nearing 70 when his daughter suggested that his longtime friend and business manager might not be acting in good faith. Cohen began looking through statements and discovered that for nearly a decade his friend had been selling off his music publishing rights. What should have been a well-earned $5 million nest egg and growing was drawn down to a paltry $150,000. Cohen was forced back onto the road and back to writing and recording songs. This was a gift to his fans, but he lost a close friend, had his trust violated, and had little choice in the matter. However, being Leonard Cohen, he took a Zen-like approach to it all and embraced his late-career renaissance.

The 13 unluckiest musicians of all time

Rob O'Connor
Writer

Choosing the 13 unluckiest musicians, in honor of Friday the 13th, is an unlucky proposition. (How ironic.) You could make the case for hundreds of unknown folks who nearly got a recording contract or who released an album and watched their label doom its promotion. Every musician who died at the age of 27 is considered unlucky, and I tried to limit the damage from that as much as I reasonably could.

I liked the gentleman who suggested to me that the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson was unlucky because he’s spent his life dealing with Mike Love. It’s a good point.

Let’s get started.