Singer-songwriter Justin Townes Earle has died at the age of 38. Police in Nashville, where he lived, have said the cause of death was likely a drug overdose.
The police were called to check on the musician because Earle’s friends had not heard from him since last Thursday, August 20. It was during a welfare check on Sunday, August 23 that law enforcement officials found Earle dead. A police spokesperson told Rolling Stone that they believe the 38-year old died from a “probable drug overdose.”
Earle’s family confirmed his passing on his official Facebook page earlier this week. “It is with tremendous sadness that we inform you of the passing of our son, husband, father and friend Justin,” the statement 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.”
It is with tremendous sadness that we inform you of the passing of our son, husband, father and friend Justin. So many…
Earle had battled drug addiction over the course of his career. The son of country star Steve Earle, he was named after Townes Van Zandt, a close friend of his father’s. He released eight studio albums in total; his last record, The Saint of Lost Causes, was released last year.
The likes of Stephen King, Billy Bragg, Margo Price and Jason Isbell have paid tribute to Earle. See their tributes below:
It appears that Justin Townes Earle has died. I hope it's a hoax but fear it is not. What a loss.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) August 24, 2020
I'm saddened to hear that we have lost Justin Townes Earle and at such a young age. I worked with him last year and found him to be a brilliant songwriter and generous soul. My thoughts go out to his family and friends.
— Billy Bragg (@billybragg) August 24, 2020
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
— Margo Price (@MissMargoPrice) August 24, 2020
Had a lot of good times and made a lot of good music with JTE. So sad for his family tonight.
— Jason Isbell (@JasonIsbell) August 24, 2020
RIP, Justin Townes Earle. Listen to The Saint of Lost Causes here: