Daniel Johnston was a unique soul. This creative artist has had a rough turbulent life and may he finally rest.
The influential cult singer-songwriter and visual artist reportedly died from a heart attack:
Daniel Johnston, the lo-fi singer-songwriter and visual artist who rose to underground fame in the ’80s, has died. According to a statement from his family, Johnston died of natural causes. His former manager Jeff Tartakov previously told The Austin Chronicle that Johnston died of a presumed heart attack. Daniel Johnston was 58 years old. Johnston was a prolific musician, recording numerous albums primarily on homemade cassette tapes. His simple, sincere, and childlike music was revered and highly influential.
Born in Sacramento, California, Daniel Johnston grew up in New Cumberland, West Virginia. He began creating music in high school, recording piano, vocals, and chord organ on a boombox. Johnston dropped out of Abilene Christian University in West Texas after being enrolled only a few weeks, but later attended Kent State University’s art program. During this time, he recorded his first LP, 1980-1981’s Songs of Pain.
After about two years, Johnston dropped out again and eventually moved to Austin, Texas where he began cultivating a following by constantly passing out his cassette tapes to passersby. His local success landed him an appearance on MTV’s The Cutting Edge series in 1985…
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