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April 2, 2020 12:28 pm

Jewish Singer-Songwriter Adam Schlesinger Dies From Coronavirus Complications

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

The late Adam Schlesinger. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Adam Schlesinger, a singer-songwriter for the pop bands Fountains of Wayne and Ivy, died on Wednesday in Poughkeepsie, New York, as a result of coronavirus complications, his family said. He was 52.

Schlesinger was born into a Jewish family in Manhattan on Oct. 31, 1967, and grew up in Montclair, New Jersey.

After graduating from Williams College in Massachusetts, he moved to New York and co-founded the group Ivy. He later reconnected with a friend from college, Chris Collingwood, and the two men founded Fountains of Wayne. The band signed with Atlantic Records and released its first album in 1996. Its most popular track was 2003’s “Stacy’s Mom.” Schlesinger, the band’s bass player, received two Grammy nominations with the group.

Schlesinger won three Emmys for his work on film, theater and television, including the TV series “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” He took home a Grammy in 2010 for his work with David Javerbaum on Stephen Colbert’s “A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!,” which won best comedy album.

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Before the coronavirus pandemic, Schlesinger was working with Jewish comedian Sarah Silverman on an off-Broadway adaptation of her memoir “The Bedwetter,” which was scheduled to begin performances this month at the Atlantic Theater Company but was delayed by the pandemic. He was also working with Jewish actress Rachel Bloom of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” to write songs for a musical adaptation of the TV show “The Nanny” for Broadway.

“Im in shock. I’m just kind of numb, and I can’t seem to convince myself it’s true,” Silverman said in an Instagram post dedicated to Schlesinger following his passing. “My body won’t believe it…I write this from an Airbnb he found for me, sitting in a chair he was in just under 3 weeks ago, the last time we worked together before he started feeling sick.”

She added, “Adam was an astonishing songwriter and composer and one of the funniest people you could know. His songs are funny and poignant, and often- despite himself- stunningly heartfelt. Adam was hilarious and generous and kind. We’ve worked together for years, both of us able to fight hard like siblings, always ALWAYS knowing that we loved each other like siblings. He was my brother. I live for the time this is over, when we can squeeze our loved ones. And when our gang will be back working together, bringing his music to life. My heart is broken.”

Schlesinger is survived by his parents, two daughters, a sister and his partner.

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