Indie singer-songwriter Daniel Johnston dies at 58
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.
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.'”
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.
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.
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:
My dad introduced me to Daniel Johnston’s music & at first I didn’t know if it was meant as a joke or something else. But once I’d listened to a few songs, I heard the DNA of so many other’s work.
A unique & special human being.
Rest peacefully, Daniel.https://t.co/5m3hwEdS9G
— Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) September 11, 2019
very sad to hear that daniel johnston passed away today. i saw him live a couple years ago and he cracked my heart open like nobody else. that guy carried such a pure truth with everything he did. sending love to his family ❤️
— Foster The People (@fosterthepeople) September 12, 2019
Rest In Peace, Daniel Johnston. Singer songwriter, poet, ARTIST. Living your broken dreams forever. Thank you for your art. pic.twitter.com/kP9GBe9MCz
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) September 12, 2019
Mac turned me on to Daniel Johnston a cpl years after the doc about him came out. He told me a story about meeting him and somehow ending up with his chord organ. Then he made a song with Sza and Thundercat using it (which is as amazing as you would think it might be)
— E. Dan (@IdlabsMusic) September 12, 2019
forever in my heart https://t.co/t3qMX50ZzZ
— yung lean (@yungleann) September 12, 2019
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.”
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.”
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
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