Adam Schlesinger, the acclaimed, Grammy-winning musician/songwriter known for his work with Fountains of Wayne and as part of the songwriting team behind the CW television series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, has died at the age of 52 due to coronavirus complications.
Variety confirmed the news on Wednesday, which came after an initial report earlier in the week that he had been hospitalized due to testing positive for the illiness.
More context on this tragic loss, via Variety:
Schlesinger had previously been reported Tuesday morning as “very sick and heavily sedated” by his attorney of 25 years, Josh Grier. Schlesinger had been in an upstate New York hospital for more than a week at that time, Grier said.
An EGOT contender, Schlesinger has been nominated for Oscars, Tonys, Grammys and Emmys and won the latter two awards. At the 2018 Emmys, he was up for two trophies for his “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” work and picked up one, winning in the outstanding original music and lyrics category for the song “Antidepressants Are So Not A Big Deal” (shared with the show’s star, Rachel Bloom, and Jack Dolgen). He was a 10-time Emmy nominee in all, five of those for “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” for which he served as executive music producer. Five more nominations came for his contributions to the Tony Awards, “Sesame Street” and a Stephen Colbert Christmas special.
Schlesinger wrote most of the original music in the 1996 film That Thing You Do!, a film written and directed by star Tom Hanks, documenting the rise and fall of a fictitious one-hit wonder band named the Wonders.
It was for that title track that Schlesinger was nominated for both an Oscar and a Golden Globe.
He won three Emmy Awards, two in 2012 and ’13 for music on the Tony Awards and the third in 2019, for the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend song “Antidepressants Are So Not A Big Deal,” which is pretty much exemplary of the overall tone and themes explored by the show over its four seasons.
With Fountains of Wayne, Schlesinger was an integral part of the band throughout the band’s career, hitting it big with the crossover rock/pop hit “Stacy’s Mom” in 2003.
Schlesinger was also a member of Tinted Windows, a short-lived supergroup featuring Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick, Taylor Hanson of Hanson and James Iha of Smashing Pumpkins. The band released one album in 2009.
More recently, Schlesinger was one of the main creative forces behind the Monkees‘ 2016 album Good Times!, producing much of the project as part of the band’s 50th anniversary festivities. The album featured contributions from Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork, as well as a posthumous vocal track from Davy Jones and guest contributions from several special guests.
The loss of Adam Schlesinger is a painful one to the music community, and he will definitely be missed. May he rest in peace.
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.
— jackantonoff (@jackantonoff) April 1, 2020
Raising my head above water to say that I’m grieving Adam Schlesinger. I know so many people who knew him much better than I did, and I’m grieving for them as well. Love to you all in trying times.
— Ted Leo (@tedleo) April 1, 2020
From his work with @fountainsofwayn to his award-winning credits in TV, movies, and stage, millions of fans caught that radiation vibe Adam Schlesinger was groovin' on. A sad, sad loss for Jersey's music scene.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) April 1, 2020
Ugh. Heartbreaking to hear about Adam Schlesinger having passed. Such a brilliant songwriter.
— Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) April 1, 2020