Adam Schlesinger, an Emmy and Grammy winner and Oscar nominee who also fronted the pop band Fountains of Wayne, has died after contracting coronavirus. He was 52. His death was confirmed by his attorney, who spoke to Deadline’s sister publication, Rolling Stone.
The pop savant earned a Best Original Song Oscar and Golden Globe nomination for “That Thing That You Do,” the title track to the 1996 Tom Hanks-directed film.
The three Emmys came for co-writing original songs for the Tony Awards ceremony in 2012 and 2013 and for an original song for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend last year. Schlesinger was executive music producer for the CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend for its four-year run. During that time he wrote or co-wrote 157 songs with the series’ star/co-creator/executive producer Rachel Bloom and Jack Dolgen.
His TV composing resume also includes Sesame Street, Big Time Rush, Crank Yankers and House of Buggin’. He also worked on such film as Music and Lyrics and Damsels in Distress. Schlesinger also co-wrote the music and lyrics for the 2008 Broadway musical Cry-Baby and penned the music for 2015’s An Act of God.
Schlesinger shared a 2010 Best Comedy Album Grammy for A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All! and a 2013 WGA Award as part of the writing team for the 66th Tony Awards.
Schlesinger co-founded Fountains of Wayne in 1995, and the band went on to release five studio albums. None was a huge seller, but the group scored a gold single with “Stacy’s Mom,” which Schlesinger co-wrote and just missed the Top 20 in 2003. Some of the group’s other best-known songs include “Sick Day,” “Radiation Vibe,” “Utopia Parkway” and “Maureen.”
He is survived by two children.
Erik Pedersen contributed to this report.
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