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The Velvet Underground Facts

Title: The Velvet Underground: The Career, Relationships and Net Worth of The Iconic Band

The Velvet Underground, formed in New York City, emerged from the creative and artistic boom that took place in the 1960s and became one of the most influential bands of all time. Known for their experimental sound and subversive lyrics, they are considered the pioneers of alternative rock, influencing countless bands that came after.

The Singer’s Bio

Lou Reed, the lead singer and songwriter of The Velvet Underground, was born on March 2, 1942, in Brooklyn, New York. Reed grew up in a Jewish family, and his parents were accountants. During his teenage years, he struggled with his sexuality and underwent electroshock therapy to “cure” his homosexuality.

After graduating from Syracuse University in 1964, Reed moved to New York City to pursue a career in music. He worked as a staff songwriter for Pickwick Records and later met John Cale, who would become his bandmate in The Velvet Underground.


The Velvet Underground’s self-titled debut album was released in 1967 to little commercial success but critical acclaim. The band’s subsequent albums, “White Light/White Heat” and “The Velvet Underground,” were not commercially successful either, but they are now considered cult classics.

After The Velvet Underground disbanded in 1973, Reed continued his solo career and released several albums, including “Transformer,” “Berlin,” and “New York.” He collaborated with artists such as David Bowie and Metallica and worked on several film soundtracks.

Reed passed away on October 27, 2013, at the age of 71. His influence on music continues to be felt today, with countless artists citing him as an inspiration.

Relationships and Children

Reed was married three times. He was first married to Bettye Kronstad in 1973, and they divorced in 1976. He then married Sylvia Morales in 1980, but they divorced in 1993. He was last married to performance artist Laurie Anderson in 2008.

Reed had no children.


Reed was 5 feet 10 inches (178 cm) tall.

Top Songs

The Velvet Underground’s discography is filled with classic songs, but some of their most popular and influential tracks include:

– “Heroin”
– “I’m Waiting for the Man”
– “Sweet Jane”
– “Pale Blue Eyes”
– “Venus in Furs”

Net Worth

At the time of his death, Reed’s net worth was estimated to be around $15 million.


1. What is The Velvet Underground’s legacy?

The Velvet Underground’s music and influence are still felt today, over 50 years after they formed. They are considered the pioneers of alternative rock and inspired countless other bands, including R.E.M., Joy Division, Sonic Youth, and Nirvana.

2. How did The Velvet Underground’s sound evolve over time?

The Velvet Underground’s sound evolved significantly over the band’s short lifespan. Their debut album was characterized by a raw, minimalist sound, while their subsequent albums saw them experiment with new sounds, including avant-garde, folk, and psychedelic rock.

3. Why did The Velvet Underground break up?

The Velvet Underground broke up in 1973 due to creative differences between Reed and Cale. Reed wanted to pursue a more commercial sound, while Cale wanted to continue pushing boundaries and experimenting with different sounds. Additionally, Reed was struggling with addiction and personal problems, which led to tension within the band.

4. What was Lou Reed’s solo career like?

After The Velvet Underground, Reed had a successful solo career that spanned several decades. He released several critically acclaimed albums, including “Transformer” and “New York,” and collaborated with artists such as David Bowie and Metallica. Reed’s solo work was characterized by his unique voice, frank lyrics, and willingness to experiment with new sounds.

5. Who were some of The Velvet Underground’s influences?

The Velvet Underground drew influences from a wide range of artists and genres, including rock and roll, free jazz, avant-garde, and folk. Some of their specific influences included Bob Dylan, The Doors, and The Beatles.

6. What was The Velvet Underground’s impact on the music industry?

The Velvet Underground’s impact on the music industry was considerable. They paved the way for alternative rock and other underground music genres, influencing countless other bands and artists. They also helped to push the boundaries of what was considered acceptable in popular music, with their frank lyrics and experimental sound.

7. What were some of The Velvet Underground’s most controversial lyrics?

Many of The Velvet Underground’s lyrics were controversial for their frank depictions of drug use, sexuality, and other taboo topics. Some specific examples include “Heroin,” which describes the experience of shooting up drugs, and “Venus in Furs,” which depicts BDSM and sadomasochism.

8. What is The Velvet Underground’s most famous album?

The Velvet Underground’s most famous album is likely their self-titled debut, often referred to as the “banana album” due to its banana-shaped cover art. While the album was not commercially successful at the time of its release, it is now considered a classic and highly influential in the world of music.

In conclusion, The Velvet Underground’s legacy as one of the most influential and innovative bands in the history of music is undeniable. Their experimental sound and subversive lyrics helped to push the boundaries of what was considered acceptable in popular music, and they have influenced countless other artists who have come after them. While their time as a band was short, their impact on music and culture continues to be felt to this day.

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