Another day, another terrible bit of coronavirus news: Adam Schlesinger, founding member of the beloved power pop band Fountains of Wayne and prolific songwriter for film and television, has died of complications of COVID-19. Earlier in the week, it had been reported that Schlesinger had spent more than week in the hospital after contracting coronavirus and was on a ventilator. Variety confirmed his passing on Wednesday morning. Schlesinger was only 52 years old.
A New York area native, Schlesinger was part of Fountains of Wayne since their inception in 1995. The band’s biggest hit was 2003’s “Stacy’s Mom.” In between projects with Fountains of Wayne and his other bands, Schlesinger contributed some wonderful songs to movies and TV shows. He was the writer of the incredibly catchy title track from Tom Hanks’ That Thing You Do!, about a ’60s band skyrocketed to stardom by their one big hit:
Schlesinger also contributed several songs to one of the most underrated romantic comedies of the century, Music and Lyrics starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. His compositions for the film include the lovely “Way Back Into Love,” which plays a key role in the story of a relationship between a faded pop star (Grant) and an aspiring songwriter (Barrymore).
In recent years, Schlesinger was the Executive Music Producer and a songwriter for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Several of his songs from the show were nominated for Emmys, including “Settle For Me” (co-written with Rachel Bloom and Jack Dolgen):
All told, Schlesinger won three Emmys and a Grammy, and was nominated for an Oscar and two Tonys. He had an incredible career — but it should have been so much longer. His death is an absolute tragedy. But Schlesinger’s work won’t be forgotten.