Singer Vic Chesnutt dies at 45

Georgia-based musician known for painful, poignant songs

Vic Chesnutt, a singer-songwriter from Athens, Ga. known for his painful and poignant songs, died on Friday after an apparent suicide attempt. He was 45.

"In the few short years that we knew him personally, Vic transformed our sense of what true character, grace and determination are all about," said the founders his label, Constellation Records, in a statement posted on its Web site. "Our grief is inexpressible and Vic's absence unfathomable."

The news about the singer's condition first spread through the Internet on Wednesday through Twitter posts by former Throwing Muses singer Kristin Hersh, who has collaborated with Chesnutt.

"Another suicide attempt, looks bad, coma--if he survives, there may be brain damage," said Hersh in one of her posts. "This time, it's real scary: *this* time, he left a note, *this* time, he asked them to call me."

Chesnutt, 45, had been in a wheelchair since a car accident when he was 18, and was discovered in the late '80s by R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe, who produced his first two albums. Chesnutt went on to release 13 more albums, including two this year, "At the Cut" and "Skitter on Take-Off."