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Tag: Vic Chesnutt (1-4 of 4)

Kristin Hersh remembers her late friend Vic Chesnutt: 'I miss him more than I've missed anybody ever'

To say this is a difficult day for those who knew and cared about Vic Chesnutt, the singer-songwriter who died yesterday at age 45, can only be an understatement. “I miss him more than I’ve missed anybody ever,” Kristin Hersh (of Throwing Muses and solo fame) tells EW.com’s The Music Mix today, her voice heavy with emotion. “Fifteen years was not enough time to prepare for this. It’s just hard to imagine a world without Vic.”

Chesnutt became one of Hersh’s dearest friends in the mid-90s, when he was her opening act on a solo acoustic tour of Europe. “It’s hard not to get close with Vic,” she recalls. “He was wonderful. A lot of people don’t know that, because he liked to think of himself as an ornery character, but he wasn’t. He was a sweetheart, and hilarious, absolutely hilarious.” The two went on to collaborate and perform together often in subsequent years, most recently at an R.E.M. tribute concert at NYC’s Carnegie Hall this past March. “Vic and I were very, very much alike, and that’s part of why we were so close,” says Hersh. “I feel like the last of a species after he’s gone.”

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Friends respond to Vic Chesnutt's death: Michael Stipe, Jeff Mangum, Patti Smith

Michael Stipe has issued a brief statement on the death of his friend Vic Chesnutt yesterday. “We have lost one of our great ones,” writes the R.E.M. frontman on the band’s official site. Stipe produced Chesnutt’s first two albums in the early 1990s and was instrumental in bringing his music to a wider audience.

For more of the statements posted on R.E.M.’s website, including tributes from Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel, Patti Smith, and others, click through to the jump.

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Vic Chesnutt, R.I.P.: Gifted singer-songwriter dies

Vic Chesnutt died today at age 45, the head of his label tells the Music Mix. The acclaimed singer-songwriter had been in a coma since earlier in the week. Some reports have said Chesnutt attempted suicide before the coma, but the cause of death has not been announced.

A statement on Constellation Records’ official site reads in full: “Surrounded by family and friends, Vic Chesnutt died in Athens Georgia this afternoon, Friday 25 December at 14:59. In the few short years that we knew him personally, Vic transformed our sense of what true character, grace and determination are all about. Our grief is inexpressible and Vic’s absence unfathomable. We will make more information available according to the wishes of Vic’s family and friends.”

It’s an unspeakably tragic end to Chesnutt’s story. Left in a wheelchair by a car accident at age 18, Chesnutt went on to build a devoted following with his folk-rock songs, many of which dealt eloquently with themes of pain and mortality. That following included many fellow artists: Fans including Madonna, R.E.M., and Smashing Pumpkins covered his work for Sweet Relief II, a 1996 compilation that raised funds for musicians’ health care.

Chesnutt spoke openly about his own death in an interview with NPR’s Terry Gross that aired earlier this month. “You know, I’ve attempted suicide three or four times. It didn’t take,” Chesnutt said then. “I’ve flirted with death my whole life. Even as a young kid I was sick and almost died a few times.” Pressed by Gross on the subject of his suicide attempts, he added, “Sometimes I’d be angry that they revived me. I’d be like, ‘How dare you?’…But of course as the hours and days wear on, you realize, well, there is joy to be had.”

We here at the Music Mix extend our sincerest condolences to the friends, family, and fans of this talented artist.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
The 10 most played holiday songs: How is Mimi’s ‘All I Want for Christmas’ not on here?
Rihanna’s new ‘Hard’ video: In the army now
Hannah Montana? Ed Helms? Who should be nominated for an Original Song Oscar?
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Vic Chesnutt in coma: Label issues statement on singer's condition

Vic Chesnutt’s label has confirmed today’s upsetting news that the acclaimed singer-songwriter is in a coma. “Vic is in the middle of a serious medical situation, he is in a coma, and his family and friends are with him,” said Constellation Records’ Don Wilkie in a statement. “We have no comment right now on the specifics other than that his doctors are continuing to assess his condition. We will issue a full statement at an appropriate time. In the interim, we request that everybody respect Vic’s privacy and that of his family.”

Friend and collaborator Kristin Hersh has said on Twitter that Chesnutt’s coma is the result of a suicide attempt, but this remains unconfirmed. Everyone at the Music Mix is hoping for the best, needless to say. For now, let’s take a minute to think about one thing we’re sure of: all the great music Vic Chesnutt has made for going on 20 years. A longtime fixture on the Athens, Ga. music scene, Chesnutt first came to national prominence when R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe produced his first two albums in the early ’90s. He’s kept up a prolific pace of recording and performing in the years since then, putting out two albums in 2009 alone.

A few months back, the Music Mix had the pleasure of debuting a video for “Chain,” a lovely, forlorn ballad from Chesnutt’s album At the Cut (below). Please share your thoughts and memories of Vic Chesnutt’s music in the comments below.

UPDATE: Chesnutt died on Dec. 25, 2009. The Music Mix extends its sincerest condolences.

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(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
The 10 most played holiday songs: How is Mimi’s ‘All I Want for Christmas’ not on here?
Rihanna’s new ‘Hard’ video: In the army now
Hannah Montana? Ed Helms? Who should be nominated for an Original Song Oscar?
Rage Against the Machine battles Simon Cowell for UK chart supremacy
The most watched YouTube videos of 2009

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