Leonard Cohen

My favourite singer of all time and part-time poet and writer of short stories, Leonard Cohen won Spain’s top award for authors who do not write in Spanish for his decades of exploring great human issues in song and verse.

The jury of the Principe de Asturias Foundation said the 76-year-old singer-songwriter, poet and novelist was one of the most influential writers of modern times.

Leonard Cohen

He won “for a literary work which has influenced three generations around the world by creating a sentimental imagery in which poetry and music are melded into an unchanging worth,” the jury citation read.

Cohen beat a field of 32 from countries including Argentina, France, Austria, Mexico and Britain. Past winners include German Nobel Laureate Guenther Grass and U.S. playwright Arthur Miller.

Leonard Cohen

The Asturias Foundation awards eight prizes every year for fields ranging from science to the arts. Winners are due to collect 50,000 euros (43,979 pounds) each at the awards ceremony in October, and a statue by catalan artist Joan Miro.