Very sad news: Rolling Stone are reporting that Lou Reed – frontman of  The Velvet Underground and redoubtable solo artist – has passed away aged 71.

Reed’s recent health travails have been well documented. In May, the singer was rushed to a Long Island hospital for emergency liver treatment, and was subsequently readmitted into hospital in July with dehydration problems.

No official word has arrived yet from Reed’s camp, and Rolling Stone are the only source for the news at present – more information as and when we have it. A more extensive piece on Reed’s life and work will follow next week.

Update: BBC News have confirmed the news. Reed is survived by his wife of five years, Laurie Anderson.

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