MADRID – Montreal singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, who turns 75 next week, was released from a hospital in Spain hours after collapsing on stage during a concert, hospital sources said Saturday.
Organizers of his concert in the eastern city of Valencia said he had fainted on stage Friday night after being stricken with food poisoning.
Witnesses told Spanish media Cohen was performing Bird on the Wire about half an hour into the show when he lost his balance as he went to pick up a guitar.
He was saved from falling by backing singers, but moments later he collapsed again and was helped off stage to receive treatment from a medical team in the concert hall.
He was then taken by ambulance to hospital, from which he was discharged in the early hours of Saturday, the hospital sources said.
A clip from the concert posted on YouTube showed him sitting on a platform on the stage and then keeling over sideways.
He had performed three songs - Dance Me to the End of Love, The Future and There Ain't No Cure for Love - before he collapsed.
A member of his band, Javier Mas, came out almost an hour later to tell the thousands of people gathered in the Luis Puig Velodrome that Cohen was suffering from a stomach complaint and would not be returning to the stage that night, but that he hoped to reschedule the show for another time.
Valencia was the penultimate stop on his nine-concert tour of Spain, which is due to end in Barcelona on Monday, his 75th birthday.
Born in Montreal, Cohen published books of poetry before embarking on a singing career with his smash debut album Songs of Leonard Cohen in 1967, which included one of his best-known songs, Suzanne.
He quit the music scene in the early 1990s, living at a Buddhist monastery in California, where he was ordained a Rinzai Zen Buddhist monk and took the name Jikhan, meaning "silence."
But he was forced to return after he was swindled out of his retirement nest egg by his former manager.
His most recent album, Heather, was released in 2004. And last year, he embarked on his first world tour in 15 years.
His music has inspired countless artists and more than 1,000 renditions of his work have been recorded by R.E.M., Elton John, Jeff Buckley, Joe Cocker, Willie Nelson, k.d. Lang, Tory Amos, Nina Simone and Peter Gabriel.
His songs have also has been used in dozens of movie soundtracks such as Natural Born Killers and Shrek.