The 45-year-old performer, a paraplegic since he was hurt in a car accident at the age of 18, is an admired songwriter based in Athens, Ga., and has collaborated with several musicians including R.E.M. and Godspeed You Black Emperor. He was the recipient of the charity album Sweet Relief II: Gravity of the Situation-The Songs of Vic Chesnutt which featured R.E.M. and Smashing Pumpkins.
He was reported to have been in a coma Dec. 24 after taking an overdose of muscle relaxants earlier this week, family spokesman Jem Cohen, told the paper.
After the car accident, Chesnutt used the remainder of his life to forge a notable career as a performer and songwriter of often darkly comic songs about life, death, vulnerability and joy. He'd collaborated with bands like Widespread Panic and Lambchop and many of his songs were recorded by others including R.E.M., Madonna, Indigo Girls and Smashing Pumpkins for Sweet Relief II: The Gravity of the Situation. Sweet Relief is a non-profit fund that assists musicians in medical need.
Chesnutt released two albums in 2009, At the Cut and Skitter on Take-Off.
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