Daniel Johnston, US Singer-Songwriter and Mental Health Advocate, Passes Away at 58
Daniel Johnston, cult US India singer-songwriter who struggled with mental health issues, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 58
Daniel Data Johnston, American singer-songwriter and visual artist, was born on 22nd January 1961 and passed away yesterday on 11th September 2019, at the age of 58. Following his death at his home, outside of Houston, Texas, his family revealed that it was due to the natural causes and released a statement, which read, “Daniel was a singer, songwriter, an artist, and a friend to all. Although he struggled with mental health issues for much of his adult life, Daniel triumphed over his illness through his prolific output of art and songs.”
It further said that Daniel had "inspired countless fans, artists, and songwriters with his message that no matter how dark the day that 'the sun shines down on me' and 'true love will find you in the end.'"
The statement also quoted Daniel’s older brother as saying that since 2003, the two had travelled together to meet Dan’s fans around the globe. He said, “He was always, everywhere, warmly received and he at least knew he was well loved. Health issues have plagued us for years, but I’m glad for the time we had.”
Daniel was regarded as an important contributor to the lo-fi and alternative music scene. He recorded most of his work alone at home. The singer, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, had to spend a lot of time in mental health institutions and became an advocate of mental health. Due to this, Daniel was the subject of a 2005 documentary, titled The Devil and Daniel Johnston, directed by Jeff Feuerzeig. This documentary focused not only on the musician’s life and childhood but also on sharing his experiences with bipolar disorder and how it led to a demonic self-obsession. Another mental health project titled ‘Hi, How Are You’ has been inspired by Daniel’s life and his 1983 music album of the same name. This project encourages open conversation around mental health issues and celebrates Daniel’s birthday as a ‘Hi, How Are You Day.’