Daniel Johnston, Quirky, Troubled and Beloved Singer-Songwriter, Dies at 58

Brunilde Fioravanti
Settembre 12, 2019

American cult singer-songwriter Daniel Johnston has died, aged 58.

Daniel Johnston, the revered cult singer-songwriter who made an indelible mark on indie music with often harrowingly attractive songs, has died after suffering a heart attack, the Austin Chronicle reports.

Johnston's family and Gimbel said he died of natural causes. "He inspired countless fans, artists, and songwriters with his message that no matter how dark the day that "the sun shines down on me" and 'true love will find you in the end'".

Born in Sacramento before moving to West Virginia and finally settling in Austin in the 1980s, Johnston first rose to prominence in Texas for his home-recorded albums, beginning with 1981's "Songs of Pain". That album kicked off a prolific run of releases from Johnston, who is regarded as a pioneer of lo-fi folk and counts Kurt Cobain, the Flaming Lips and Tom Waits among his acolytes. Johnston battled mental health issues for much of his life and spent time under institutional care even as his music was inspiring the likes of Kurt Cobain, whose interest in Johnston helped shed more light on his work in the 1990s.

Johnston had been working on a new album with Austin-based producer Brian Beattie for "years" he told the Chronicle and Vulture reported in April that the album would be titled "If". Directed by Jeff Feuerzeig, it won the award for documentary directing at that year's Sundance Film Festival.

In keeping with the city's long appreciation of live music, the festivities a concert. Johnston's manager, Dick Johnston, confirmed the news of Johnston's death to TheWrap. "He had just returned from a recent hospital stay and seemed (and looked) better than I'd seen him in a good while".

He added: "You never knew what was going to happen at one of Daniel's shows, but it was always incredibly honest and genuine".

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