Adam Schlesinger, co-founder of Fountains of Wayne and writer of a collection of astonishingly good tunes, has died from complications related to the coronavirus. He was 52 years old.
Schlesinger’s band Fountains of Wayne was best known for their 2003 novelty hit “Stacy’s Mom”, the irresistibly doofy earworm about a boy’s crush on his friend’s mother. But the Oscar-nominated songwriter had a huge collection of terrific songs, including the hit, titular single from Tom Hanks’ 1996 That Thing You Do!. He also wrote for Stephen Colbert, Sesame Street, the 2001 Josie and the Pussycats remake, the Hugh Grant/Drew Barrymore rom-com Music & Lyrics and over one hundred songs for the bawdy CW musical series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (“Stacy’s Mom” would have felt right at home on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend). He won an Emmy for his work on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and was nominated many times.
On social media, fans and friends expressed shock and respect for their departed friend. Hanks, who himself is recovering from coronavirus, said he was “terribly sad.”
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
Pop producer and Bleachers frontman Jack Antonoff said it was an “honor to live at the same time he made his work.”
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
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend creator and star Rachel Bloom said Schlesinger was “irreplaceable.”
I have so much to say about Adam Schlesinger that I am at a complete loss for words. He is irreplaceable.
— Rachel Bloom (@Racheldoesstuff) April 2, 2020
Schlesinger’s friend and fellow musician Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional mourned his “mentor and friend.”
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