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Musician and songwriter Adam Schlesinger, best known for being a member of Fountains of Wayne and writing music for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, died on Wednesday from complications due to the coronavirus.
Schlesinger’s longtime attorney Josh Grier told Variety on Tuesday that the songwriter had been hospitalized with the virus in upstate New York and was on a ventilator. “He’s very sick and is heavily sedated, as are all people on ventilators, but no one has used the word ‘coma’ to me,” he said at the time.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend co-creator Rachel Bloom also tweeted Tuesday, “Please keep Adam in your thoughts and prayers. It’s been an extremely scary week.”
He died Wednesday morning, according to multiple reports.
"He was truly a prolific talent and even more so, a loving and devoted father, son and friend," read a statement provided to CNN.
In addition to creating catchy pop songs like "Stacy's Mom," the 52-year-old was an accomplished awards contender, having been nominated in all four EGOT categories: the Emmys, Grammys, Oscars, and Tonys. Schlesinger won an Emmy in 2018 in the Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics category for the song “Antidepressants Are So Not a Big Deal” from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Fountains of Wayne was nominated for two Grammys in 2003 for Best New Artist and Best Pop Performance by a Group, and he won the Grammy in 2010 for Best Comedy Album for A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All.
Schlesinger was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe in 1997 for his work cowriting the theme song for That Thing You Do!, a film written and directed by Tom Hanks and starring Hanks, Liv Tyler, and Charlize Theron. In 2008, he earned two Tony nominations for the musical Cry-Baby, adapted from the John Waters film of the same name.
Fellow musicians and others in the entertainment industry honored Schlesinger and his memory on social media.
“I am grasping for the right words. My dear friend Adam Schlesinger has passed away from COVID-19. You know him best through his music. From his band @fountainsofwayn to the countless movies and tv shows he scored, most recently My Crazy Ex Girlfriend and most famously That Thing You Do,” Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional tweeted.
“I knew him best as a mentor, and a friend. We must take this seriously. People are sick and dying. It is hard to stay locked indoors but lives will be saved. Take care of each other. Rest In Peace, my dear friend.”
Bloom, the Crazy Ex Girlfriend star, said she was at a loss for words.
Actor Richard Speight Jr. wrote, “I always felt Adam Schlesinger was robbed of an Oscar (he was nominated) for writing the title song to the @tomhanks movie 'That Thing You Do.' The tune plays REPEATEDLY in the film & not only doesn’t get old, it’s a delight every time. Cheers to Adam’s talent. This truly sucks.”
Jack Antonoff tweeted, “Adam Schlesinger took pop music writing to its classiest and most untouchable place. An honor to live at the same time he made his work.”