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Cult singer-songwriter Daniel Johnston dead at 58

Cult singer-songwriter Daniel Johnston dead at 58

Published at 2:38am 12th September 2019. (Updated at 7:04am 12th September 2019)

Singer-songwriter and visual artist Daniel Johnston has died at the age of 58, his family has said.

Johnston died on Wednesday morning at his home in Texas. The Austin Chronicle reported his death was due to a heart attack following many years of ill health.

Johnston also struggled with mental illness and that, as well as his offbeat career, earned him a dedicated following.

His life inspired a documentary in 2005 - the Oscar-nominated The Devil And Daniel Johnston.

He also inspired Austin's first Hi, How Are You Day on 22 January last year, which encouraged people to check up on their neighbours, friends or co-workers.

His songs, which included Life In Vain and True Love Will Find You In The End, attracted admiration from the late Kurt Cobain and The Simpsons creator Matt Groening.

He began his career recording music onto cassette tapes at home.

After moving to Texas in the 1980s, he became known for handing out tapes of his music to people he met.

Cobain was photographed a number of times wearing a t-shirt featuring the cover image of Johnston's 1983 album Hi, How Are You.

After Cobain listed one of Johnston's albums as among his favourites, music agents started to seek him out.

But, according to music news website Pitchfork, he refused to sign with one label because Metallica was also with them and, due to his mental illness, he considered them Satanic and capable of violence towards him.

His mental health deteriorated further in the 1990s and about a decade later he formed his own label - Eternal Yip Eye Music.

He released his final album, Space Ducks: Soundtrack, in 2012 and performed his last tour in 2017.

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