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Award-winning musician Adam Schlesinger dies of coronavirus at 52

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The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Thu, April 2, 2020  /  07:49 pm
Award-winning musician Adam Schlesinger dies of coronavirus at 52

Bassist Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne performs onstage at the Virgin Festival By Virgin Mobile 2007 at Pimlico Race Course on August 4, 2007 in Baltimore, Maryland. Fountains Of Wayne's founder and singer-songwriter Adam Schlesinger has died after contracting COVID-19, he was 52 years old. (AFP/Scott Gries)

American singer-songwriter Adam Schlesinger died from complications related to COVID-19 at the age of 52 on Thursday, Rolling Stone has reported.

Cofounder of power pop band Fountains of Wayne, Schlesinger was also known for penning songs for film, television and theater, including the Oscar-nominated “That Thing You Do” from the 1996 movie of the same name. His other high-profile works were the 2007 romantic comedy Music and Lyrics, starring Drew Barrymore and Hugh Grant, and the hit musical comedy series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which aired from 2015 to 2019.

Schlesinger was particularly known for his pop sensibility mixed with hints of irony. As cowriters with Rachel Bloom on the series, Schlesinger along with Jack Dolgen won an Emmy for the song “Antidepressants Are So Not A Big Deal” last year for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics. That was his third Emmy as Schlesinger won Emmy Awards in 2012 and 2013 for penning songs to open the Tony Awards telecast.

Adam Schlesinger (left), Rachel Bloom (center) and Jack Dolgen (right) pose with the Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics Award for 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' in the press room during the 2019 Creative Arts Emmy Awards on September 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Adam Schlesinger (left), Rachel Bloom (center) and Jack Dolgen (right) pose with the Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics Award for 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' in the press room during the 2019 Creative Arts Emmy Awards on September 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (AFP/Amy Sussman)

Schlesinger also won the 2009 Grammy Award for best comedy album as co-writer on A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All! A companion to a TV Christmas special show, the album featured songs performed by Stephen Colbert, Elvis Costello, Willie Nelson and Feist, among others.

Alongside Fountains of Wayne, with whom he released five albums in 1996 to 2001, Schlesinger founded indie pop group Ivy. “Stacy’s Mom” became Fountains of Wayne’s most successful song, placing Number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 and earning a heavy rotation on MTV. Schlesinger also formed supergroup Tinted Windows with Smashing Pumpkins’ James Iha, Hanson’s Taylor Hanson and Cheap Trick’s Bun E. Carlos. They released a self-titled LP in 2009.

Read also: Independent music scene struggles to keep beat alive amid pandemic

Hollywood stars have taken to social media to honor Schlesinger.

Tom Hanks wrote, “There would be no Playtone without Adam Schlesinger, without his That Thing You Do. He was a One-der. Lost him to Covid-19. Terribly sad today.”

Writer Aline Brosh McKenna, who worked with Bloom and Schlesinger on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, shared a touching post and an email containing a song demo from Schlesinger.  “Adam was so funny, so kind, so opinionated, so clever, so passionate”, she wrote.

Musician and producer Jack Antonoff wrote, “Adam Schlesinger took pop music writing to its classiest and most untouchable place. An honor to live at the same time he made his work.”

“I’m so saddened to hear of the death of Adam Schlesinger due to Covid19. From the Dana Carvey Show to A Colbert Christmas Special, he was a great (and patient) and talented artist with whom it was my good luck to work. Peace,” wrote Colbert.

Bloom wrote, “I have so much to say about Adam Schlesinger that I am at a complete loss for words. He is irreplaceable.” (wng)

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