Rock pioneer Lou Reed dies at 71

Rock pioneer and Velvet Underground frontman Lou Reed is dead at 71.

Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, director of the feature documentary film Lou Reed: Rock and Roll Heart, confirmed Reed's death Sunday to USA TODAY.

Reed had a liver transplant in May, although a cause of death has not yet been released.

Best known for songs such as Sweet Jane, I'm Sticking With You, Sunday Morning and Heroin, the Velvet Underground was formed in New York by Reed and John Cale. It was popular throughout the 1960s. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

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Reed left the Velvet Underground in 1970 and began a flourishing solo career that spawned such hits as Walk on the Wild Side, Perfect Day and Dirty Blvd. Reed took home one Grammy Award during his career of nearly five decades, for best long-form music video in 1999 for Lou Reed: Rock and Roll Heart.

After divorcing British designer Sylvia Morales in the mid-'90s, Reed married O Superman performance artist Laurie Anderson in 2008. In recent years, he toured with his new band Metal Machine Trio and contributed vocals to Metric's 2012 album Synthetica.


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