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UPDATE – 7:42 p.m.: Chesnutt has died, the New York Times reports.
UPDATE – 11:38 a.m.: Reports of Chesnutt’s death were false. He is in a coma. Original post below.
Singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt has died. Earlier today, Chesnutt slipped into a coma after an apparent suicide attempt. Chesnutt spent much of his life in a wheelchair following a car accident. He survived years of drug abuse; in an interview, he admitted to attempting suicide several times. The Athens, Ga., singer amassed a wide following for his brutal, adventurous songs, and biting, often hilarious lyrics. I interviewed Michael Stipe in the early ’90s—-the entire subject of the discussion was his adoration for Chesnutt. Stipe produced two of his albums. This past year, he released an album featuring musicians from Thee Silver Mt. Zion, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Witchies,and Guy Picciotto. From the outpouring of grief via Twitter and Facebook, it’s clear Chesnutt had devoted fans and great friendships. He was 45.