Two-time Emmy-winning and Tony-nominated composer, musician and singer-songwriter Adam Schlesinger has passed away. Additionally a Grammy winner and Oscar nominee, Mr. Schlesinger, who was 52, died April 1 from COVID-19-related complications.
A Tony nominee for the score of Cry-Baby (shared with David Javerbaum), for which he also penned the lyrics, Mr. Schlesinger had a number of big projects in the pipeline. Among them, the upcoming world-premiere adaptation of Sarah Silverman's memoir The Bedwetter, at Atlantic Theater Company (for which he wrote the music and co-wrote the lyrics with Silverman) and the Broadway-aimed The Nanny musical with the series' star Fran Drescher and frequent collaborator Rachel Bloom.
Mr. Schlesinger worked with Bloom on four seasons of hit series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend as a songwriter, executive music producer, and music director. He and Bloom co-penned the original main title theme music, for which they shared an Emmy nomination, as well as the songs (co-written with Jack Dolgen) "We Tapped That Ass," "Settle for Me," and "Anti-Depressants Are So Not a Big Deal," the latter winning them an Emmy Award in 2019. Bloom was among those in the industry to share her grief at his passing on social media.
Born on October 31, 1967, Mr. Schlesinger worked extensively in Hollywood. He was an Academy Award nominee for the title song in Tom Hanks' 1999 film, That Thing You Do! and wrote the music and lyrics for a number of TV shows and films, among them: Ice Age: Continental Drift, Sesame Street, Music and Lyrics, Big Time Rush, Crank Yankers, The Maya Rudolph Show, and A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!, for which he won a Comedy Album Grammy Award. Both Colbert and Hanks also shared their grief on Twitter.
He and his Cry-Baby collaborator Javerbaum also penned original songs for both the Tony and Emmy telecasts, including the 2011 Tony Awards opening number "It's Not Just for Gays Anymore." After making their joint Broadway debuts in 2008, Mr. Schlesinger and Javerbaum returned in 2015 with Act of God. Javerbaum's solo play, starring Sean Hayes, featured original music by Mr. Schlesinger.
He was a founding member of the band Fountains of Wayne, for which he wrote the Grammy-nominated song "Stacey's Mom."