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Adam Schlesinger, Fountains of Wayne musician, dies of COVID-19 complications

Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne on stage on March 21, 2009 in Austin, Texas.
Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne on stage on March 21, 2009 in Austin, Texas. CP Images Archive

American musician and composer Adam Schlesinger died on Wednesday as a result of complications of COVID-19. He was 52.

The singer-songwriter was best known as the bassist of New York-based pop rock group Fountains of Wayne, which penned the 2003 Grammy-nominated single Stacy’s Mom.

In addition to Fountains of Wayne — which was together for 18 years (1995-2013) — Schlesinger co-founded the bands Ivy and Tinted Windows. Outside of his career as a rock star, he was a songwriter and composer for a variety of films and TV shows, including the 1996 musical comedy That Thing You Do! starring Tom Hanks and the Rachel Bloom series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

Schlesinger died at a hospital in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., on April 1, his longtime lawyer Josh Grier confirmed to the Associated Press.

It was only Tuesday when Jaime Herman, another lawyer of Schlesinger’s, told Rolling Stone the musician had been hospitalized with the novel coronavirus. The outlet suggested he had been ill for at least two weeks.

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“He’s on a ventilator and has been sedated to facilitate his recovery,” Herman said in a statement made before Schlesinger’s death. “He is receiving excellent care, his condition is improving, and we are cautiously optimistic. His family appreciates all of the love and support.”

READ MORE: ‘Star Wars’ actor Andrew Jack dies from COVID-19

An outpouring of emotional, heartfelt tributes appeared on Twitter in the wake of the news of Schlesinger’s passing.

“I have so much to say about Adam Schlesinger that I am at a complete loss for words,” said Bloom, creator of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and his longtime work partner. “He is irreplaceable.”

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“There would be no Playtone without Adam Schlesinger, without his That Thing You Do!” said Hanks of his own production company.

Hanks, 63, only recently recovered from COVID-19 himself.

Here is what some others had to say about Adam Schlesinger after working with him:

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said on Twitter that Schlesinger’s death was a “sad, sad loss for Jersey’s music scene.”

READ MORE: A self-isolation playlist for those stuck inside during coronavirus pandemic

Schlesinger won one Grammy and three Emmy Awards during his career.

Additionally, he was nominated for 10 Emmys for writing comical songs across several television shows.

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Schlesinger was born on Oct. 31, 1967 in New York City. He is survived by his two daughters.

READ MORE: Celebrities and public figures who’ve tested positive for coronavirus

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

Coronavirus outbreak: WHO says 75 per cent of asymptomatic individuals eventually develop COVID-19 symptoms
Coronavirus outbreak: WHO says 75 per cent of asymptomatic individuals eventually develop COVID-19 symptoms

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

— With files from the Associated Press

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adam.wallis@globalnews.ca