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Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ Charts for First Time in US

  • VOA News

FILE - Leonard Cohen performs at The Fabulous Fox Theatre in Atlanta, March 22, 2013. Cohen, the gravelly-voiced Canadian singer-songwriter died Thursday, November 10, 2016, at age 82.

FILE - Leonard Cohen performs at The Fabulous Fox Theatre in Atlanta, March 22, 2013. Cohen, the gravelly-voiced Canadian singer-songwriter died Thursday, November 10, 2016, at age 82.

It took the death of music legend Leonard Cohen to push his iconic song Hallelujah into the Billboard Hot 100.

Cover versions of the song that Cohen recorded in 1984 for his album Various Positions have been in the Hot 100 before but this is the first time his original version made it onto the chart.

Hallelujah also received a boost during a recent airing of the skit comedy show Saturday Night Live, when comedian Kate McKinnon dressed as Hillary Clinton sang the poignant tune.

Billboard put the song at number 59 for the week of November 11-17.

Cohen died on November 7 after a fall, yet another recording artist who died in 2016, which also saw the deaths of Prince and David Bowie.

Hallelujah is Cohen’s most famous song and arguably one of the most iconic songs in rock, having been performed by Neil Diamond, Bono, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and K.D. Lang.

According to the Washington Post, Cohen worked on the song for years, “writing more than 80 verses before trimming it down to the five that appeared on record.”

Despite the effort, Cohen’s record company, Columbia Records, opted not to release Various Positions in the U.S. It was finally released in the U.S. in 1985 on a smaller label called Passport, the Post reports.

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