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Daniel Johnston, Singer-Songwriter claimed, Died At 58: NPR



Singer, songwriter and visual artist Daniel Johnston, performing in Austin in 2005. Johnston died this week.

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Jana Birchum / Getty Images

Singer, songwriter and visual artist Daniel Johnston, performing in Austin in 2005. Johnston died this week.

Jana Birchum / Getty Images

Outside singer, songwriter and visual artist Daniel Johnston has died. His death was confirmed on NPR by his brother Dick Johnston, who said Daniel had just been released from a hospital yesterday, where he was being treated for kidney issues. Dick Johnston said last night, Daniel looked fine, but was found dead at his home in Waller, Texas, near Houston, Wednesday morning. He was 58 years old.

His brother, Margy Johnston, told the Austin Chronicle in 2018 that he had been physically unhealthy in recent years; in a 2017 profile, The New York Times reported that he had battled diabetes, a kidney and hydrocephalus infection, in addition to the manic depression and schizophrenia he had given birth to for most of his life. -to be alive.

Born on January 22, 1961 in Sacramento, Calif., Johnston is a musician, whose heartless lyrics about love and separation find important fans who bring his single song to life. to a wider audience. Tom Waits, Yo La Tengo, Small Eyes and many other bands covered Johnston's achingly sinister songs of isolation. Wayne Coyne of Flaming Lips said of his music, "There's definitely some absolutely pure, emotional stuff going on in his songs." Kurt Cobain wore a t-shirt featuring art from the Johnston cassette of 1983 Hello, How Are You.

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He is beloved as a visual artist and cartoonist, also: In 2006, the Whitney Museum selected him for the famous Biennial.

In 2005, he was the subject of a documentary, Jeff Feuerzeig-directed The Devil and Daniel Johnston that traced his art making and his important struggles; the film won the documentary directing the festival on Sunday of that year. operate Motorcycle Speed, directed by Nodler, based on Johnston songs. "It's sad that he can't see it," Dick Johnston said.

As news of his death spread, many musicians and artists took to social media to pay tribute to Johnston. "There are not enough words I can say about … the vitality of Daniel Johnston's musical spirit," Zola Jesus wrote on Twitter . "She has been a great inspiration to me, to follow my creative impulses no matter how small or simple."


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