Credit: Shutterstock/Lou Reed

My God is rock’n’roll

Born in Brooklyn in 1942, singer songwriter Lou Reed focused on music from a young age. He taught himself to play the guitar by listening to the radio.

His early musical efforts saw him record with a doo-wop band. He even hosted a radio programme dedicated to that genre, something that would surprise fans today.

After graduation from university, he moved to New York City to write songs. From the connections he made, the Velvet Underground was formed. This band went on to be incredibly influential on the alternative rock scene with Lou as lead singer.

The sixties' underground art and music scene exploded. Soon the band got into in the sex, drugs, and rock n' roll lifestyle with a little help from Andy Warhol.

Lou left the band in 1970 to go it alone and recorded over 20 albums. Hit singles including Walk on the Wild Side and Perfect Day emerged, resulting in more mainstream awareness of his work.

Always experimental, artistic, and distinctive, Lou became a byword for cool. He was often asked to play himself in cameos to add cachet to a film.

When he died in 2013 from diseases of the liver, tributes flooded in from the music industry's most prominent artists. Lou Reed became an alumni of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame after his death, in recognition of his legend.