Daniel Johnston, eccentric singer-songwriter, dead at 58

CREDIT Jana Birchum  Getty Images

"Daniel was a singer, songwriter, an artist, and a friend to all". Johnston died this week.

Eccentric US indie rock singer Daniel Johnston has died at 58.

Johnston struggled with mental health issues throughout his life, and an organization "inspiring new conversations around mental health issues" called "The Hi, How Are You Project" was founded by Gimbel and Courtney Blanton with the support of Daniel Johnston and his family. "He passed away from natural causes this morning at his home outside of Houston, Texas".

His sister, Margy Johnston, told the Austin Chroniclein 2018 that he had been physically unwell in recent years; in a 2017 profile, The New York Times reported that he had struggled with diabetes, a kidney infection and hydrocephalus, in addition to the manic depression and schizophrenia that he bore for most of his adult life.

Johnston was born in Sacramento, CA, and lived in West Virginia before moving to Austin and beginning his underground music career.


The late singer served as inspiration for many musical cultural icons, including Kurt Cobain, Tom Waits, Sonic Youth and the Flaming Lips.

Johnston emerged as a cult favorite in the the 1980s - partially by passing out homemade tapes around town, including in a McDonald's - and even appeared on MTV in 1985, but it wasn't until the early '90s, when Nirvana's Kurt Cobain started appearing in a t-shirt bearing the cover of Johnston's "Hi, How Are You?" album that Johnston's fame took off.

He was beloved as a visual artist and cartoonist, too: In 2006, the Whitney Museum chose him for its famed Biennial. He was the subject of a 2005 documentary, "The Devil and Daniel Johnston".

"There were very few unsafe rock and roll shows left in the world where you really don't know what to expect", Gimbel said of Johnston's notoriously unpredictable stage presence.

Related:

Comments

Latest news

Trump, Pence Take Part in 9/11 Observance Ceremonies
A number of the readers were children who noted they had never met lost relatives - but said they loved them very much. This year's ceremony will be the first at which a new memorial will line the outside of the World Trade Center.

State Health Officials Want Info On Vaping-Related Illnesses
Additionally, anyone who has been vaping and is experiencing lung problems should seek medical attention as soon as possible. According to the state health department, 41% of MA high school students have tried e-cigarettes at least once.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake trailer hints at game's quirkiest moment
It clearly says "New Trailer" atop the timer, so we can presumably expect one of those to go live once the timer hits zero. This demo was also at Gamescom 2019, and fans may be hoping that at TGS 2019 a wider release for the demo is announced.

Florida could see Tropical Storm Humberto later this week
High pressure will rebuild tomorrow and Friday dropping the rain chances, and temperatures will soar into the mid 90s once again. The other system, still in the middle of the Atlantic, has a slightly better chance of developing into a tropical storm.

Audi AI: Trail Quattro Makes Offroad More Futuristic
As the fourth member of the AI concept family, the new Audi AI:TRAIL quattro is a fully electric off-roader with level-4 autonomy. The concept features four electric motors which can work together to generate a maximum of 320kW of power and 1000Nm of torque.

Other news