Justin Townes Earle, Americana singer-songwriter, dies at 38
Award-winning Americana singer and songwriter Justin Townes Earle has died at the age of 38.
The news was shared in a post on Earle's official social media account on Sunday. "It is with tremendous sadness that we inform you of the passing of our son, husband, father and friend Justin," the post read. "So many of you have relied on his music and lyrics over the years and we hope that his music will continue to guide you on your journeys. You will be missed dearly, Justin."
A cause of death was not immediately given.
Born January 4, 1982, Earle was the son of alternative country star Steve Earle and Carol Ann Hunter. He was named after his father's friend and fellow musician Townes Van Zandt. Earle struggled with sobriety throughout his life, which he spoke openly about on Morning Edition in 2008.
His first EP, Yuma, was released in 2007, and he released his full-length debut, The Good Life, the following year. He won the Americana Music Association's Emerging Artist of the Year award in 2009, and its Song of the Year award in 2011 for "Harlem River Blues." That song came off his third studio album of the same name, which was his highest debut on the Billboard 200 charts at 47.
In total, he released eight full-length albums. His last, The Saint of Lost Causes, was released in May 2019.
Several Hollywood notables took to social media on Sunday night to share their well wishes. "It appears that Justin Townes Earle has died. I hope it's a hoax but fear it is not. What a loss," author Stephen King wrote on Twitter.
“RIP Justin Townes Earle,” tweeted the band the Head & the Heart. “We had the pleasure of playing a few shows together. He was such an immense songwriter and authentic soul. This year is a thief.”
Fellow musician Margo Price also shared her thoughts on her Twitter account. "Sending love and condolences to Steve Earle and the entire family of Justin Townes Earle... he was always kind to me and he’s gone too soon," she wrote.
Earle is survived by his wife Jenn Marie and their 3-year-old daughter Etta St. James.