Vic Chesnutt has died 

The acclaimed songwriter passed away on Christmas day

After a brief stint in an Athens hospital following an apparent suicide attempt, acclaimed songwriter Vic Chesnutt died just short of 3 p.m. on Christmas day. He was 45 years old. Most news reports said that Chesnutt took an overdose of muscle relaxants, which put him into a coma for nearly two days.

His latest record label, Constellation, released this statement late in the evening on Dec. 25: "Surrounded by family and friends, Vic Chesnutt died in Athens Georgia this afternoon, Friday 25 December at 14:59. In the few short years that we knew him personally, Vic transformed our sense of what true character, grace and determination are all about. Our grief is inexpressible and Vic's absence unfathomable."

An eloquent obituary written by Ben Sisario ran on the New York Times web site late on Friday night. It opened like this: "Vic Chesnutt, whose darkly comic songs about mortality, vulnerability and life's simple joys made him a favorite of critics and fellow musicians, died Friday in a hospital in Athens, Ga., a family spokesman said. He was 45 and lived in Athens ... Mr. Chesnutt had a cracked, small voice but sang with disarming candor about a struggle for peace in a life filled with pain. A car crash at age 18 left him partly paralyzed, and he performed in a wheelchair."

Chesnutt's official web address is


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