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Lou Reed dead, Velvet Underground leader and rock legend was 71

Musician/songwriter Lou Reed grew up in Freeport. (June

Musician/songwriter Lou Reed grew up in Freeport. (June 13, 1986) (Credit: AP )

Lou Reed, leader of American rock band the Velvet Underground, died of a liver-related ailment in Southampton on Sunday, his literary agent said. He was 71.

Reed, who was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Freeport, is widely credited with shaping rock and roll music, and was both a song writer and a guitarist. After splitting from the Velvet Underground in 1970, Reed reached a new height of fame upon releasing a solo album, "Transformer," produced by David Bowie, which included the hit song "Walk On the Wild Side."

"Glam, punk and alternative rock are all unthinkable without his revelatory example," Rolling Stone said in reporting the artist's death Sunday. 

Reed had a liver transplant in May. 

Reed was known for his wild partying throughout the 1970s, but he managed to remain an influencer in the music industry into recent years. He married musician and performance artist Laurie Anderson, 66, in 2008. The two shared a home in Southampton.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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