The Fountains of Wayne co-founder, movie and TV composer and Emmy and Grammy-award winner passed away yesterday morning (April 1) after being hospitalised earlier this week. His death was confirmed to Rolling Stone by Schlesinger’s lawyer last night.
Schlesinger’s death has prompted a stream of tributes from across the entertainment world.
Tom Hanks paid tribute to the musician on Twitter and highlighted his work in the 1996 film That Thing You Do!, for which Schlesinger earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song.
There 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. Hanx
— Tom Hanks (@tomhanks) April 2, 2020
Dashboard Confessional‘s Chris Carrabba tweeted that he was “grasping for the right words” to say after learning of Schlesinger’s death.
“I knew him best as a mentor and a friend,” he added, before imploring that people follow the appropriate lockdown and social distancing measures in order for “lives to be saved”.
and most famously That Thing You Do. 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. -Chris
— Dashboard Confessional (@dashboardmusic) April 1, 2020
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend co-creator Aline Brosh McKenna praised Schlesinger for his work on the show, which he won an Emmy for in 2019. “Adam was so funny, so kind, so opinionated, so clever, so passionate,” she wrote.
— Aline Brosh McKenna (@alinebmckenna) April 1, 2020
Further tributes from the likes of Stephen King, Nicole Atkins and Stephen Colbert have also been posted on social media following the sad news of Schlesinger’s passing. You can see a selection of those below.
I’m heartbroken to hear about Adam Schlesinger’s passing. He was one of the 1st people I ever co-wrote a song with and we went on the road with Fountains of Wayne back in the day. He was really sweet and beyond talented. My heart goes out to his family and band mates. 💙
— NATKINS (@NicoleAtkins) April 1, 2020
I am very sorry to hear the terrible news about Adam Schlesinger. I had the pleasure of working with Adam when he wrote the theme to Crank Yankers. He was a kind and super-talented man who will be missed. Sending love to his family, friends and fans.
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) April 1, 2020
RIP Adam Schlesinger (Fountains of Wayne), fine singer, witty and satiric songwriter. How terrible to lose him at 52 to this virus.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) April 2, 2020
For those of you who know my life as a songwriter- Adam Schlesinger’s career was always a big source of inspiration for me. He had a lyrical cheekiness that was only matched by his expert understanding of form, and was always able to fuse the two in a really fun, accessible way..
— Darren Criss (@DarrenCriss) April 1, 2020
Shit so sorry to hear this. Fuck U Covid, RIP Adam Schlesinger. Love and prayers to his family. Thank U for the songs.
— Diane Warren (@Diane_Warren) April 1, 2020
RIP Adam Schlesinger. Brilliant musical mind. Good guy. Sad day.
— marc maron (@marcmaron) April 2, 2020
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.
— jackantonoff (@jackantonoff) April 1, 2020
Ugh. Heartbreaking to hear about Adam Schlesinger having passed. Such a brilliant songwriter.
— Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) April 1, 2020
I am so saddened by the news of the passing of songwriter Adam Schlesinger from COVID 19. Adam wrote the song THAT THING YOU DO. He had extraordinary musical talent. His loss is deeply felt.
— Rita Wilson (@RitaWilson) April 2, 2020
I was a huge Fountains of Wayne fan, and I just found out about the passing of Adam Schlesinger. Heartbreaking.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) April 1, 2020
a few years ago i noticed adam schlesinger followed me, i did the uncool move of DMing to say i'd been a fan since i was a kid – from that thing you do, josie soundtrack, fountains of wayne, more. he messaged back, couldn't have been more encouraging + kind. RIP to a songs hero
— speedy ortiz haunted presence? (@sad13) April 1, 2020
Oh god. Adam Schlesinger was wildly talented. He graciously wrote the theme song to my “KATHY” talk show called “I’ll say it” He was so patient with me as I was recording it in the booth, guiding me at every step. He did the gig as a favor, in a little home studio on a Saturday💔 https://t.co/SpTdcoBIco
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) April 1, 2020
Fuck. The world is suddenly a much shittier place without Adam Schlesinger in it. RIP pal. October 31, 1967-April 1, 2020
“What else is new?
What can I do?
But sing this valley winter song
I wrote for you” – Fountains of Wayne 2003
— Counting Crows (@CountingCrows) April 2, 2020