Singer/songwriter/bassist Adam Schlesinger was the co-founder of power pop band Fountains of Wayne, dream pop band Ivy and indie supergroup Tinted Windows. He was a 1997 Oscar nominee for writing the title track to That Thing You Do!. And he’s now one of the latest casualties of the Covid-19 pandemic, dying from complications from the virus earlier today, according to a statement given by his lawyer to CNN.
One of the greatest pop songwriters of his generation, Schlesinger has written music sung by everyone from Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry and the Jonas Brothers to Neil Patrick Harris, Stephen Colbert and Elmo. He may be most remembered for his time in Fountains of Wayne and their unforgettably perfect power-pop song “Stacey’s Mom” from 2003’s Welcome Interstate Managers. The band released five albums between 1996 and 2011.
Born October 31, 1967, in New York, Schlesinger’s work outside of his bands included writing music for countless TV shows and movies, including his work as executive music producer on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend with star and creator Rachel Bloom, writing one of the best TV theme songs of the past decade and countess memorable musical moments on the show.
His most recent work was in theatre. After co-writing music for two Broadway musicals—an adaptation of Jon Waters’ film Cry-Baby in 2008, for which he won a Tony, and An Act of God in 20015—he had been collaborating with Sarah Silverman for a new musical based on Silverman’s book The Bedwetter. The show was to begin previews next month before opening on June 10. He was also, according to Fran Drescher, in the process of writing the music for The Nanny Musical.
He is survived by his two daughters, Sadie and Claire, as well as “his life partner Alexis Morley, his parents Barbara and Stephen Schlesinger and his sister Lauren,” according to the statement.