Legendary Indie Singer-Songwriter Daniel Johnston Dies at 58

The Austin icon suffered a heart attack

Daniel Johnston performs on stage during day three of All Tomorrow's Parties Festival at Butlins Holiday Centre on May 9, 2010 in Minehead, England. (Photo by Gary Wolstenholme/Redferns)
Daniel Johnston performs on stage during day three of All Tomorrow's Parties Festival at Butlins Holiday Centre on May 9, 2010 in Minehead, England. (Photo by Gary Wolstenholme/Redferns)
By Bonnie Stiernberg / September 11, 2019 4:22 pm

Legendary singer-songwriter and visual artist Daniel Johnston has reportedly passed away at the age of 58 after suffering a heart attack. His former manager Jeff Tartakov confirmed the news.

As the Austin Chronicle reports, Johnston had been suffering from physical health problems recently and was hospitalized back in January.

Perhaps best known for his 1983 album Hi, How Are You, which later saw a bump in popularity after Kurt Cobain wore a t-shirt of its cover artwork, Johnston got his start as a local musician handing out tapes in Austin, Texas and went on to put out 17 studio albums and three live albums over the course of his career. He struggled publicly with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and in 2005 he was the subject of the documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston, which chronicled his experiences with mental illness.

Johnston told the Chronicle in 2018 that he was working on a new album and planned to release it “real soon.”

Tributes have already begun pouring in on social media.

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