Lou Reed — leader of the influential rock band The Velvet Underground in the late '60s and early '70s before a successful solo career — has died at age 71 on October 27, according to Rolling Stone.
The cause of death has yet to be released, but Lou underwent a liver transplant in May. Lou married performance artist Laurie Anderson, his longtime girlfriend, in 2008.
Lou has had a long and storied career in rock music. Andy Warhol discovered The Velvet Underground in the '60s and became their manager, leading to their debut album, The Velvet Undrground & Nico, being released in 1967.
The album was named the 13th greatest album of all time by Rolling Stone in 2003, and the band itself ranked as the 19th best artist of all time by the same magazine in 2004.
The band's song "Heroin," which Lou wrote and which was on that debut album, was listed at number 455 on Rolling Stone's list of the greatest songs ever in 2004.
Lou left the band in 1972 and embarked on a solo career. His biggest hit was probably 1973's "Walk on the Wild Side," which was produced by David Bowie.
Lou's influence on pop culture is as evident now as it ever was. For example, in an episode of Gilmore Girls, Rory loses her virginity to Dean while Lou's song "Satellite of Love" is playing. (C'mon, Rory — Dean was married at the time! What were you thinking?!)
Also, Ryan Reynolds's character in the 2009 film Adventureland claims to have played with Lou Reed.
Celebrities have taken to Twitter to pay their respects, including comedian Ricky Gervais, who writes, "RIP Lou Reed. One of the greatest artists of our time."
Our thoughts go out to Lou's family and loved ones during this difficult time.