Adam Schlesinger, Co-Founder of Fountains of Wayne and Beloved Artist, Dies of Coronavirus

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Adam Schlesinger, co-founder of the pop-rock band Fountains of Wayne and a songwriter largely known for his contributions to The CW's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, has died.

The musician was 52 years old.

Adam Schlesinger

According to Schlesinger's attorney, Josh Grier, the composer passed away Wednesday morning due to complications from the coronavirus.

In a statement through his agent to Entertainment Weekly on Tuesday, Schlesinger’s girlfriend said:

“Adam has been hospitalized with COVID-19” and is “on a ventilator and has been sedated to facilitate his recovery.”

The musician was “in critical condition,” she said at the time.

“He’s very sick and is heavily sedated, as are all people on ventilators, but no one has used the word ‘coma’ to me,” Grier told Variety in a previous report.


As cited above, Schlesinger was probably best known for his work as co-founder of Fountains of Wayne and co-writer of their 2003 hit "Stacy's Mom."

He also worked as an executive music producer on the musical comedy Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and composed songs for the following:

  • Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!
  • Too Late With Adam Carolla
  • The Howard Stern Radio Show
  • The Dana Carvey Show.

The artist is also credited as a writer of songs for these programs and specials:

  • Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  • NBC's Late Night With Seth Meyers
  • The 2013 Emmy Awards.
  • The 2012 Tony Awards
  • The Tonight Show With Jay Leno
  • My Name Is Earl
  • One Tree Hill
  • The 1997 Academy Awards

He was as prolific and as popular as anyone in his field.

Adam Schlesinger pic

Schlesinger won three Emmy Awards during his career: one for writing lyrics for Rachel Bloom‘s hit CW musical series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and two for his lyrical contributions to the 2011 and 2012 Tony Awards telecasts.

In an emotional tribute to Schlesinger on Twitter Wednesday, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend co-creator Aline Brosh McKenna remembered the musician as “so funny, so kind, so opinionated, so clever, so passionate.”

She continued:

“We worked together and agreed and disagreed and rejoiced and bemoaned and celebrated and it felt extra sweet for me because I’d known him so long.

"I love that guy. I love all the memories”

adam tribute

One the movie side, Schlesinger wrote the iconic song "That Thing You Do," performed by The Wonders, from the 1996 Tom Hanks-starring film of the same name.

He also wrote tracks for titles such as Netflix's To the Bone, Warner Bros.' Music & Lyrics, 20th Century Fox's John Tucker Must Die and Me, Myself & Irene and Universal's Josie and the Pussycats.

Again: Prolific.

And respected.

Adam Schlesinger image

Among the many tributes in his honor following Adam's death:

Tom HanksThere would be no Playtone without Adam Schlesinger, without his That Thing You Do!  He was a One-der. Lost him to Covid-19.  Terribly sad today.

Chris Carrabba of Dashboard ConfessionalI am grasping for the right words. My dear friend Adam Schlesinger has passed away from COVID-19. You know him best through his music... I knew him best as a mentor, and a friend.

We must take this seriously. People are sick and dying. It is hard to stay locked indoors but lives will be saved. Take care of each other. Rest In Peace, my dear friend.

Jack Antonoff: Adam Schlesinger took pop music writing to its classiest and most untouchable place. An honor to live at the same time he made his work.

Covid-19 has prompted a nationwide shutdown and, to date, caused close to 5,000 deaths.

Please stay safe, everyone.

And rest in peace Adam Schlesinger.

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