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Cry-Baby, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Fountains of Wayne Composer Adam Schlesinger Dies of Coronavirus

Schlesinger was working on two musicals at the time of his passing.

Adam Schlesinger has died.
(© Tricia Baron)

Tony-nominated composer Adam Schlesinger has died at the age of 52 following a battle with coronavirus.

As a songwriter, Schlesinger's work ran the gamut. He was a founding member of the Grammy-nominated band Fountains of Wayne, penning songs like "Stacy's Mom" and "Hackensack," among many others. He also fronted the bands Ivy and Tinted Windows, and was a writer and producer for the synth band Fever High.

For the screen, he wrote the title song to That Thing You Do!, earning an Oscar nomination. He composed "Master of the Seas" for Ice Age: Continental Drift and penned eight songs for Stephen Colbert's A Colbert Christmas, winning a Grammy for the album alongside longtime collaborator David Jacerbaum.

Also with Javerbaum, Schlesinger earned Emmys for their songs "It's Not Just for Gays Anymore" and "If I Had Time," penned for host Neil Patrick Harris to sing during two consecutive Tony Awards telecasts. Schlesinger was the co-songwriter, with Rachel Bloom, for her series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, earning Emmy nominations in 2016 and 2017, and winning in 2019 for the song "Antidepressants Are So Not a Big Deal."

Theatrically, Schlesinger and Javerbaum earned a Tony nomination for their score for the musical Cry-Baby. Schlesinger also provided the music for Javerbaum's play An Act of God.

At the time of his death, Schlesinger was working on multiple theatrical projects, including Sarah Silverman's musical The Bedwetter, which was scheduled to premiere this month off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theater Company, and a musical version of the television series The Nanny, written with Bloom, Fran Drescher, and Peter Marc Jacobson.

Schlesinger is survived by his parents, Bobbi and Stephen Schlesinger, daughers Sadie and Claire, sister Laurie, and partner Alexis Morley.


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