His career spanned two decades and included collaborations with some of today’s most cherished musicians, indie and mainstream alike. Vic Chesnutt died on Christmas Day after rumors of his death spread across the blogosphere and Twitter. He was 45. According to the New York Times art blog, Chesnutt was in a coma after overdosing on muscle relaxants and succumbed to the event Friday evening.
Chesnutt had been in a wheelchair since the age of 18, when he was injured in a car accident.
Many considered 2009 a phenomenal and creative year for Chesnutt, who released two albums this year. At The Cut featured collaborations with members of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and Skitter On Take-Off was a minimal folk release with bouts of sheer brilliance. Musicians and music fans alike have been devastated by the loss of one of the world’s most stunning musicians.
Lucas of Venice Is Sinking wrote “RIP Vic. My best to his family and friends. Just gutted by this.”
Kasey Anderson added: “We lost one of the great ones last night.”
Twitter was abuzz with the news, and I reflected through one of the most vicarious means possible. I think those of us who were moved by his music can all agree with @Ralph85: “Because of [his] music, it’s like you lost someone you know.” A fund has been set up to help Vic’s family with expenses. You can visit and donate here. Kristin Hersh’s letter will bring tears to your eyes.
Rest in peace Chesnutt. Hopefully now you can be free.