American singer-songwriter and artist Daniel Johnston is dead. He died a natural death Wednesday morning at his Houston home, his family said. According to his brother, the singer had to fight for years with health problems.
Johnston's folk songs featured titles such as Life in Vain , True Love, Will Find You in the End and Walking the Cow, often dealing with innocent requests for love and affection. He was also active as a visual artist. His works have been exhibited at New York's Whitney Museum, among others. Musicians like Kurt Cobain, Tom Waits and Simpsons inventor Matt Groening appreciated his work.
When Nirvana singer Cobain wore a T-shirt at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1992 entitled John How's How To You , Johnston became famous among indie rockers. It formed a loyal fan base. Johnston himself called himself a Sorry Entertainer : He liked and could not handle splendor and success in the music business. The big breakthrough was probably not last but not because of mental problems. His fight against his manic depression formed the centerpiece of the 2005 Oscar-nominated documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston . Johnston turned 58.
"Hi, How Are You": On September 11, 2019, people planted flowers in front of a wall in Austin, Texas, designed by Daniel Johnston. © Nick Austin / AP / dpa