Leonard Cohen earns his BA

After graduating from McGill with a Bachelor of Arts, Leonard Cohen, BA’55, DLitt’92, embarked upon an unparalleled career as a poet and troubadour. Over the ensuing six decades, he established himself as one of the most beloved and renowned artists of the 20th century. A prolific novelist, poet, singer and songwriter, Cohen is a member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Cohen is not the only member of the McGill community who has left a lasting mark in the world of music.

Across genres — from classical, to folk-rock, to alternative – musicians from McGill have crossed airwaves and touched souls all around the world.

For example, Win Butler, BA’04, the lead singer of Arcade Fire, was already making music in his undergraduate years. The band would reportedly sneak into Strathcona Music Building’s practice rooms to refine their sound. Now Arcade Fire is celebrated internationally, earning a 2011 Grammy for Album of the Year.

Burt Bacharach, AMus’48, DMus’72, had a prolific career as a singer and songwriter and garnered numerous Grammys and Academy Awards.