Adam Schlesinger, the award-winning songwriter, producer, and co-founder of the rock band Fountains Of Wayne, has died of complications from coronavirus. Variety has confirmed the performer’s death. Schlesinger was also the co-founder of bands Ivy and Tinted Windows, as well as a contributing producer for Brooklyn-based duo Fever High. He was 52 years old.
As a highly accomplished songwriter, Schlesinger has made his mark through a number of iconic tunes. He was perhaps most known for his founding contribution to Fountains Of Wayne, the rock outfit behind the inescapable 2003 hit, “Stacy’s Mom.” The catchy pop-rock anthem was nominated for two Grammys, Best New Artist and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. Prior to that, however, he had written the bopping title track for the 1997 Tom Hanks-directed film That Thing You Do. In the musical comedy, the hit track is performed by the Beatles-esquel band The Wonders. Schlesinger was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe. The prolific musician also wrote, composed, and produced music for There’s Something About Mary, The Manchurian Candidate, Scary Movie, and a host of other well-known films.
As a Tony-nominated writer, he had significant roots in the theater scene. He and co-writer David Javerbaum were nominated in 2008 for Cry-Baby. A year later, the creative duo was nominated for an Emmy for their song “Much Worse Things”, performed by Elvis Costello and Stephen Colbert on the television special and album A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All! In 2012, Schlesinger and Javerbaum won the Emmy for their work on Neil Patrick Harris’ opening number in the 65th Tony Awards. Four years later, Schlesinger would nab two more Emmys for his contribution to the CW musical comedy Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: one for his collaboration with co-creator and star Rachel Bloom on the theme song and another for his work on the season one track, “Settle For Me.”
With a career that has crossed multiple genres within entertainment, Schlesinger long established his immovable place in pop culture. His brilliant vision lives through the music he’s written for the Jonas Brothers, Katy Perry, Bowling For Soup, and countless others. He is survived by his two daughters.