Daniel Johnston, cult US singer-songwriter, dead at 58

Johnston onstage at the Le Printemps De Bourges rock pop festival in Bourges, France, on April 17, 2010 (Image credit: ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images)

Daniel Johnston, the singer-songwriter whose emotionally bare lo-fi homemade recordings inspired artists like Kurt Cobain and Tom Waits, died on September 10 at the age of 58. The suspected cause of death is a heart attack.

His family said in a statement: “Daniel was a singer, songwriter, an artist and a friend to all. Although he struggled with mental health issues for much of his adult life, Daniel triumphed over his illness through his prolific output of art and songs. He inspired countless fans, artists, and songwriters with his message that no matter how dark the day, ‘the sun shines down on me’ and ‘true love will find you in the end.'”

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.