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Tom Hanks leads tributes to Fountains Of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger

Tom Hanks led the tributes to Fountains Of Wayne star Adam Schlesinger, who died at the age of 52 after contracting coronavirus (Isabel Infantes/PA)
Tom Hanks led the tributes to Fountains Of Wayne star Adam Schlesinger, who died at the age of 52 after contracting coronavirus (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Tom Hanks led the tributes to Fountains Of Wayne star Adam Schlesinger, who reportedly died at the age of 52 after contracting coronavirus.

The Emmy and Grammy Award-winning musician, also known for his work on the TV show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, died in New York on Wednesday, according to reports in the US.

His family had earlier said Schlesinger, the bassist with rock band Fountains Of Wayne who are best known for the hit Stacy’s Mom, had been sedated and was on a ventilator after being diagnosed with Covid-19.

Shortly after news of his death was reported, stars from film, TV and music paid tribute.

Schlesinger earned an Oscar nomination in 1997 for writing the title track on That Thing You Do! – a musical comedy directed by Hanks.

Hanks paid tribute on Twitter and said he would not have launched his Playtone record label and production company without Schlesinger’s help.

“He was a One-der,” Hanks, who also tested positive for coronavirus, said.

“Lost him to Covid-19. Terribly sad today. Hanx.”

That Thing You Do! star Ethan Embry recalled being seated in a room with Hanks and actress Liv Tyler listening to songs being considered for the film.

“When we heard Adam Schlesinger’s cassette it was instantly clear which track we would need to learn,” he said.

Schlesinger won a Grammy in 2009 for best comedy album for co-writing the songs on A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All, with the songs performed by Stephen Colbert and Elvis Costello.

US chat show host Colbert said on Twitter: “I’m so saddened to hear of the death of Adam Schlesinger due to Covid19.

“From the Dana Carvey show to A Colbert Christmas Special, he was a great (and patient) and talented artist with whom it was my good luck to work. Peace.”

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend co-creator Aline Brosh McKenna had known Schlesinger since the early 1990s and shared a moving tribute, calling him “the most brilliant, the most funny, the most clever, the most musical”.

She also shared a song he had sent to her. McKenna’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend co-creator and star of the show Rachel Bloom paid tribute shortly after giving birth.

McKenna tweeted: “I have so much to say about Adam Schlesinger that I am at a complete loss for words. He is irreplaceable.”

The producer and DJ Mark Ronson said he was “so sad” to hear about the death of the musician.

He added: “I never met him but was such a fan of all his brilliant music in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.”

Jimmy Kimmel worked with Schlesinger when he wrote the theme for TV show Crank Yankers.

Kimmel said: “He was a kind and super-talented man who will be missed. Sending love to his family, friends and fans.”

Australian singer Rick Springfield tweeted: “Adam Schlesinger was one talented man and the world will be a less tuneful place without him.

“I wrote a few songs with him when I was living in New York and he had a brilliant gift for melody. Love and healing to his family.”

The Walking Dead star Jon Bernthal revealed Schlesinger was his cousin.

“As a little boy I would be mesmerised by his talent,” he said.

“He showed me how cool it was to be an artist. We love you Cuz. Stay strong.”

He added: “Please keep Adam in your heart. ”

Andrew Sandoval, who said he worked with Schlesinger to produce albums for The Monkees, also paid tribute to the late musician.

“I was fortunate enough to have a front row seat for his work as a producer and musician and arranger as he crafted tracks for Good Times and Christmas Party,” he said.

“Good Times was a totally transformative project for The Monkees and it simply would have not been as successful without his production and arrangement skills.”

Schlesinger is survived by his two daughters.

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