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Musician Blended Styles Into Bright Pop

Adam Schlesinger formed Fountains of Wayne with a college friend
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 1, 2020 8:19 PM CDT

(Newser) – Adam Schlesinger, the Emmy- and Grammy-winning musician and songwriter known for his work with his band Fountains of Wayne, died Wednesday after contracting the coronavirus. Schlesinger died at a hospital in upstate New York, his longtime lawyer said. It is not clear where or how Schelsinger, a 51-year-old father of two daughters, contracted the virus. He had been sedated and on a ventilator for several days, the AP reports. Schlesinger was nominated for 10 Emmys for writing comical songs across several television shows, winning three. He was nominated for an Academy Award for writing the title song to the 1997 Tom Hanks-directed movie That Thing You Do. Raised in New York and Montclair, New Jersey, Schlesinger formed Fountains of Wayne, named for a lawn ornament store in Wayne, New Jersey, in 1995 with a classmate from Williams College, Chris Collingwood.

With Schlesinger playing bass and singing backup and Collingwood playing guitar and singing lead, and the two co-writing songs, the band known for its sunny harmonies and synthesis of pop, rock punk and comedy would have hits in 1996 with Radiation Vibe and 2003 with Stacy's Mom. The latter was nominated for a Grammy. The pair produced catchy pop songs descended from groups like the Kinks and the Cars, per the New York Times. Schlesinger later dropped behind the scenes to write. He won the 2009 Grammy for best comedy album for the songs on A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All! In recent years he was known along with Rachel Bloom as one of the songwriters behind Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the musical-comedy TV series. Last year, Schlesinger, Bloom and Jack Dolgen won an Emmy for the show's song, “Antidepressants Are So Not A Big Deal."

(Read more obituary stories.)

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