September 12, 2019 11:15 am

Indie singer-songwriter Daniel Johnston dies at 58

Daniel Johnston performs at the Austin Convention Center during the South By Southwest Music Festival on March 19, 2011 in Austin, Texas.

Gary Miller/FilmMagic
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American singer-songwriter and visual artist Daniel Johnston died on Wednesday. He was 58.

The True Love Will Find You in the End singer was best known for his visual art and works in the lo-fi and indie/alternative music scene.

The entertainer reportedly died as a result of a heart attack, which according to The Austin Chronicle, was confirmed by Johnston’s former manager, Jeff Tartakov.

A statement, later issued to Facebook, by Johnston’s brother Dick, however, stated that he had died of “natural causes” in his Waller, Texas, home.

A man places flowers beneath the “Hi, How Are You” mural created by artist Daniel Johnston on Sept. 11, 2019, in Austin, Texas.

Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP

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It read: “It is with very heavy hearts that we share the news of Daniel’s passing this morning. One thing we know to be true in this sad time, in Daniel’s words, ‘True love will find you in the end.'”

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The older Johnston added that his brother had suffered for many years with a variety of health issues, including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

With his music, Johnston explored his mental health issues deeply — something which gained him a cult-following and resulted in the Jeff Feuerzeig-directed documentary film, The Devil and Daniel Johnston (2005).

In the span of nearly three decades, Johnston released 18 studio albums, including 1983’s Hi, How Are You.

(L-R) Dave Grohl, Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic of Nirvana.

Kevin Mazur Archive/WireImage

The album featured possibly Johnston’s popular hand-drawn artwork, “Jeremiah the Innocent,” which was most notably worn by late-Nirvana frontman, Kurt Cobain.

Johnston’s most recent release was 2012’s Space Ducks, which was inspired by his own comic book — Space Ducks: An Infinite Comic Book of Musical Greatness.

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As well as Cobain, many other artistic figureheads, including Tom Waits and The Simpsons creator, Matt Groening, have expressed a deep fondness for Johnston’s artistic and musical works.

A number of other longtime fans took to Twitter to share their condolences and fondest memories of Johnston.

Here’s what some users had to say:

Dick Johnston’s statement continued:  “I always wanted Danny to feel like his own person, and in control of his own life. Health issues have plagued us for years, but I’m glad for the time we had.”

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Tom Gimbel, Daniel’s manager for over 25 years, said, “I am so saddened by the news of Daniel’s passing. It has been the greatest honour and privilege of my professional life to work with Daniel Johnston — someone who I consider to be one of the greatest songwriting geniuses of our time.”

“In our time together,” he added, “Daniel was more than an artist; he was a friend, he was family. I will miss him greatly but will smile every time I hear his songs.”

American singer-songwriter Daniel Johnston performs on stage at Barbican Centre on June 2, 2013, in London, England.

Andy Sheppard/Redferns via Getty Images

Johnston was born on Jan. 22, 1961 in Sacramento, Calif.

The family he is survived by revealed that plans for a memorial will be announced soon.

With files from the Associated Press

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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