Velvet Underground pioneer Lou Reed dead at 71

Lou Reed, founder of the Velvet Underground who went on to a successful and influential solo career, has died of a liver ailment at the age of 71.

RollingStone reports that Reed underwent a liver transplant in May but has noted an official cause of death has not been given yet.

Lou Reed, along with John Cale, Sterling Morison and Maureen Tucker formed the Velvet Underground in the mid sixties and went to write and record some of the most influential underground rock music of his time. The group were close to noted artist Andy Warhol and released their debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico, in 1967.

Reed split from the Velvet Underground in 1970 and went on to record solo albums starting with his self-titled 1972 record. He followed it up with the David Bowie / Mick Ronson produced Transformer.

His most recent recorded output included guest vocal appearances on Metric’s 2012 album Synthetica and the much criticised collaboration with Metallica, Lulu.

Lou Reed died on a Sunday morning.

Lou Reed, Nico, and John Cale performing “Femme Fatale” in 1972: