OTTAWA –Leonard Cohen told his family, in his final days, he was confident Donald Trump would be elected president of the United States.
The Montreal singer-songwriter’s son Adam recalled the prediction at Saturday’s Juno gala dinner, where his father received a posthumous artist of the year prize.
Cohen’s son says the notion of Trump winning seemed “absurd” to everyone around his father.
“He was one of the only people I know, who had the most absurd prediction that anybody in my midst would dare have: he predicted Donald Trump was going to be the president of the United States, which of course made us all laugh hysterically.”
They assumed the medical marijuana he was ingesting clouded his logic, he says.
“He was stoned out of his mind,” Adam says. “What did he know, we thought. But it turns out the old man was right.”
Cohen died in California a day before Trump stunned his country and the world, defeating Hillary Clinton. Though he was closely associated with Montreal, his hometown, he also lived and worked on the American west coast.
In his 1990s song, “Democracy,” Cohen sings: “From the fires of the homeless/From the ashes of the gay/Democracy is coming to the USA.”
His Juno win marks the second time Cohen has received the artist of the year award, after winning in 2013.
Adam says his father knew 2016’s “You Want It Darker” would be the final album he produced. He recalled once asking him how he was producing such “astoundingly clear and powerful vocals.”
“I’m a captive, I’ve got no other purpose or mission,” he says.
“This is my message, this is my last message.”