Singer Lou Reed Dies at 71

PHOTO: American rock singer, songwriter and photographer Lou Reed, circa 1985.
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Lou Reed has died at the age of 71, the legendary rock singer's publicist confirmed today to ABC News.

The cause of his death Sunday morning was not released. In May Reed underwent a liver transplant at the Cleveland clinic.

Reed was a major force in music, first breaking out as the lead singer for the Velvet Underground, which was initially managed by Andy Warhol. The band's debut album "The Velvet Underground & Nico" was called the 13th greatest album of all time by Rolling Stone in 2003. In 1996 the band was inducted into the Rock n' Roll Hall of fame.

In 1970 Reed split from the Velvet Underground and went on to become a successful solo artist releasing hits including "Satellite of Love" and "Walk on the Wild Side."

Reed continued to release new albums and tour during his four-decade solo career, performing in front of audiences until a just a few weeks before his transplant surgery. Reed was scheduled to perform at the Coachella music festival in April, but had recently cancelled citing "unavoidable complications."

He collaborated with Metallica on his last album titled "Lulu" and release in 2011.

Although Reed was able to keep the surgery a secret at the time, afterwards his wife, performance artist Laurie Anderson, revealed how serious his condition was to the London Times.

"I don't think he'll ever totally recover from this, but he'll certainly be back to doing [things] in a few months," Anderson told the Times. She also noted that Reed, who's an avid martial arts enthusiast, was "already working and doing t'ai chi" within a month of the surgery.

In June Reed post a message on his Facebook page about his recovery and his hope to return to the stage.

"I am a triumph of modern medicine, physics and chemistry. I am bigger and stronger than stronger than ever," wrote Reed. "I look forward to being on stage performing, and writing more songs to connect with your hearts and spirits and the universe well into the future."

After initial reports of Reed's death hit the Internet, fellow musicians expressed their condolences on social media.

The British rock band The Who took to twitter, "R.I.P. Lou Reed. Walk on the peaceful side."

Reed is survived by his wife Laurie Anderson.

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