Daniel Johnston Dead at 58

BY Josiah HughesPublished Sep 11, 2019

Esoteric pop performer and artist Daniel Johnston has died at the age of 58 after suffering a heart attack.

According to the Austin Chronicle, Johnston's former manager Jeff Tartakov confirmed that Johnston died last night (September 10). Johnston's health had deteriorated in recent years, with the artist frequently being hospitalized for various health issues.

In 2017, Johnston embarked on what was billed as his final tour with members of Wilco, Built to Spill and Fugazi all serving as his backing bands. Johnston later denied claims that it was his final tour.

Johnston had a long, robust career that touched on music, art and other fascinating projects. His 1983 debut album Hi, How Are You? is a touchstone of indie music and was championed by the likes of Kurt Cobain, among others.

In 2006, Johnston was the subject of a documentary film called The Devil and Daniel Johnston. Then, in 2015, a biopic film called Hi, How Are You Daniel Johnston? — which was produced by Lana Del Rey and Mac Miller — was released.

You can read a selection of tributes to Johnston from the likes of Beck,  the Mountain Goats, Judd Apatow, M. Ward and more.

Exclaim! also had Johnston take the Exclaim! Questionnaire in 2006. When asked what everyone should shut up about, he told us the following: "I think there's too much evil. They should just shut up and pretend to be good, or something like that, you know? You can't be evil without it leading to death, I think."

Read the full Questionnaire piece here.

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