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Adam Schlesinger’s Music Was an Endless Source of Joy

Adam Schlesinger’s Music Was an Endless Source of Joy

No one could write a belter like Adam Schlesinger. The acclaimed singer-songwriter, best known for co-founding Fountains of Wayne, is responsible for some of the most uplifting music of the 21st century. On Wednesday morning, he sadly passed away due to complications related to coronavirus. He was just 52.

From heartfelt power pop to incisive parody to Broadway pastiche, Schlesinger's contributions to rock, film and TV are nothing short of timeless magic. Sharp-witted but always generous in spirit, he wrote tongue-in-cheek hits for real bands ("Stacey's Mom"), real hits for fictional bands (The Wonders, Josie and the Pussycats, Alex Fletcher) and imaginary musical numbers for characters coping with BPD (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend). Many Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, Tony and Golden Globe nominations and wins can confirm his unique talent as a shrewd observer with an incredible sense of melody, but the only thing you really need to appreciate that is a set of ears.

News of Schlesinger's death has come as a shock. Tributes have poured in from every corner of the entertainment industry – from Ted Leo and Dashboard Confessional's Chris Carrabba, to Tom Hanks and Stephen King. Fellow pop maestro Jack Antonoff said: "Adam Schlesinger took pop music writing to its classiest and most untouchable place. An honour to live at the same time he made his work."

Schlesinger could turn his hand to pretty much anything, do it the best and make the world a better place while doing it. It speaks volumes that the first thing many people wanted to do when they heard the news was listen to his music, which has been an endless source of joy for the last three decades. Here, we've compiled just a few of our favourite selections from his Greatest Hits catalogue (AKA his entire discography).


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