Fountains of Wayne Co-Founder Adam Schlesinger Dead From COVID-19
Fountains of Wayne co-founder Adam Schlesinger is dead at the age of 52 following complications from the coronavirus.
The rocker had been hospitalized earlier this week after contracting COVID-19. He had been put on a ventilator in hopes of combatting the infectious disease. According to Variety, the musician passed away Wednesday morning (April 1).
Schlesinger co-founded Fountains of Wayne with Chris Collingwood in 1995. The group's debut, self-titled album would be released a year later, earning positive reviews but middling commercial results.
While continuing to work with his band, Schlesinger penned the titled track for the 1996 Tom Hanks film That Thing You Do. The song proved to be a real-life hit, earning Schlesinger Oscar and Golden Globe nominations.
The musician enjoyed further mainstream success in 2003 when Fountains of Wayne’s "Stacy's Mom," became a breakthrough hit, earning mainstream radio airplay and regular rotation on MTV. The band would go on to receive two Grammy nominations, ‘Best New Artist’ and ‘Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal’ for “Stacy’s Mom.”
Fountains of Wayne would release a total of five studio albums, and while none of their songs were able to match the commercial heights of "Stacy's Mom," Schlesinger continued to forge a well-respected career in entertainment.
In 2008, the musician teamed with The Daily Show producer David Javerbaum to create songs for the stage adaptation of the John Waters film Cry-Baby. The work would earn the men two Tony Award nominations.
Schlesinger and Javerbaum would join forces again for the holiday comedy album A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!. The LP featured Stephen Colbert delivering a series of hilarious holiday tunes alongside such vaunted artists as Elvis Costello, Willie Nelson, John Legend and Toby Keith. The release won 'Best Comedy Album' at the 2010 Grammy Awards.
Years later, Schlesinger would return to the Tonys in a different fashion, penning the original songs "It's Not Just For Gays Anymore" for the 65th Tony Awards telecast and "If I Had Time" for the 66th edition of the ceremony.
Later, Schlesinger found success with the hit CW television show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, for which he wrote original songs and also served as executive music producer. The comedy-musical series would earn Schlesinger an Emmy Award, one of three he won over the course of his career.
As news of Schlesinger’s death began to spread, celebrities flocked to social media to share their condolences. Considering the late musician’s ability to work across all kinds of mediums and genres, those sending thoughts and prayers ran the gamut of music and entertainment.
Rocker Rick Springfield called Schlesinger a “talented man” with a “brilliant gift for melody.” Late night host Jimmy Kimmel recalled working with the musician on the theme to his Comedy Central show Crank Yankers. Meanwhile, author Stephen King remembered Schlesinger as a “witty and satiric songwriter.”