Fountains Of Wayne's Adam Schlesinger Dies Of COVID-19 Complications


Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne and Ivy died Wednesday of complications from COVID-19. He was 52.

"Adam Schlesinger took pop music writing to its classiest and most untouchable place," tweeted fellow singer-songwriter and producer Jack Antonoff. "An honor to live at the same time he made his work."

The musician was hospitalized with the virus in March. Schlesinger had been sedated and on a ventilator but, in a statement, his family said he was “receiving excellent care, his condition is improving and we are cautiously optimistic."

Schlesinger was a founding member of Fountains of Wayne, which had a big hit in 2003 with “Stacy’s Mom,” and then helped form indie pop act Ivy and worked with synth pop duo Fever High.

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He also played in Tinted Windows, a rock band made up of James Iha of The Smashing Pumpkins, Taylor Hanson of Hanson, and Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick.

"Adam and I wrote many songs together at his studio in NYC ten years ago for my then album Fight or Flight," singer Emily Osment shared on social media. "He was a kind hearted, brilliant man and he and his work will be missed terribly."

Schlesinger penned songs for a long list of film and television projects that have earned him Oscar, Golden Globe, Tony and Emmy nominations.

He wrote the title song for 1996's That Thing You Do!, which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. The movie's writer, director and star Tom Hanks tweeted: "There would be no Playtone without Adam Schlesinger, without his That Thing You Do! He was a One-der. Lost him to Covid-19. Terribly sad today."

Last year, he won an Emmy for co-writing “Antidepressants Are So Not A Big Deal” for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

At the time of his death, he was working on songs for The Nanny Musical. Fran Drescher tweeted that she was devastated. "We will miss you... My prayers are for you. May peace be with you..."

Late night host Jimmy Kimmel recalled working with Schlesinger, who penned the theme to Crank Yankers. "He was a kind and super-talented man who will be missed," he tweeted.

Canadian singer Ron Sexsmith, who sang on one Fountains of Wayne's albums and opened for the band in L.A., praised Schlesinger's "smart, melodic music." Actor Elijah Wood described Schlesinger as "a brilliant songwriter."

Actor and singer Darren Criss paid tribute on Twitter. "He had a lyrical cheekiness that was only matched by his expert understanding of form, and was always able to fuse the two in a really fun, accessible way ... Thank you so much Adam Schlesinger for your incredible songs – the best parties will forever be the ones where they play your hits."

Musician Ben Lee knew Schlesinger for more than 20 years. “Worked on some songs together, toured the US supporting Fountains, and always found him to be an [exemplary] craftsman, artist and mensch. Love you buddy.”

Lee added: “He taught me some songwriting lessons I’ve never forgotten. He was one of the first people to really challenge me on if the lyrics of a song made sense. I didn’t like be challenged in that way. But I lived to realize he was right.”

Singer Rick Springfield remembered Schlesinger as "one talented man" with "a brilliant gift for melody."

Schlesinger had daughters Sadie and Claire with ex-wife Katherine Michel.

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