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Adam Schlesinger, co-founder of the 2000s pop-rock band Fountains of Wayne and a songwriter on The CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, has died. The musician was 52.
Schlesinger died Wednesday morning of complications from the coronavirus, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed with Schlesinger’s lawyer.
The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday reported that Schlesinger had been hospitalized after testing positive for the coronavirus. “Thank you for the outpouring of love for Adam and his family,” his family wrote in a statement. “Adam has been hospitalized with COVID-19. He’s on a ventilator and has been sedated to facilitate his recovery.”
They added, “He is receiving excellent care, his condition is improving and we are cautiously optimistic. His family appreciates all of the love and support.”
Perhaps best known for his work as co-founder of Fountains of Wayne and co-writer of their 2003 hit “Stacy’s Mom,” he also worked as an executive music producer on the musical show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and composed songs for A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!, Too Late With Adam Carolla, The Howard Stern Radio Show and The Dana Carvey Show. He’s also credited as a writer of songs for Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, NBC’s Late Night With Seth Meyers, the 2013 Emmy Awards, the 2012 Tony Awards, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, My Name Is Earl, One Tree Hill and the 1997 Academy Awards.
On the film side, Schlesinger penned the iconic song “That Thing You Do,” performed by The Wonders, from the 1996 Tom Hanks-starring film of the same name. He also wrote songs for titles including Netflix’s To the Bone, Warner Bros.’ Music & Lyrics, 20th Century Fox’s John Tucker Must Die and Me, Myself & Irene and Universal’s Josie and the Pussycats.
For the stage, Schlesinger teamed with The Daily Show executive producer David Javerbaum to co-write the music and lyrics for Cry-Baby, the 2008 Broadway musical adapted from the John Waters movie that starred Johnny Depp; and “I Have Faith in You,” the closing song from Javerbaum’s 2015 Broadway play Act of God, which starred Jim Parsons.
More recently, he wrote the score for Sarah Silverman’s upcoming off-Broadway musical The Bedwetter, collaborating with her on the lyrics. Schlesinger also was working with his Crazy Ex-Girlfriend collaborator Rachel Bloom on the score for a forthcoming Broadway musical adaptation of the ’90s Fran Drescher sitcom, The Nanny.
Aside from Fountains of Wayne, which produced five studio albums, Schlesinger also helped to found the bands Ivy and Tinted Windows. As a record producer, meanwhile, he worked with Dashboard Confessional, The Monkees, They Might Be Giants and Robert Plant.
Over the course of his career, Schlesinger was nominated for an Oscar, a Golden Globe and several Emmys, Tonys and Grammys. He won three Primetime Emmys: two for original music and lyrics for the 2011 and 2012 Tony Awards and another for original music and lyrics for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend in 2015.
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