Justin Townes Earle: Police say death was a ‘probable drug overdose’

Artist was described as a ‘brilliant songwriter and generous soul’

Louis Chilton
Wednesday 26 August 2020 10:56
Comments
Award-winning singer-songwriter Justin Townes Earle dies

A police spokesperson has stated that the late singer-songwriter Justin Townes Earle died of a “probable drug overdose”.

The Americana star, who was the son of acclaimed singer-songwriter Steve Earle, was 38 years old when he died last week.

A representative for the Metro Nashville Police Department told The Tennessean that police officers conducted a welfare check at Earle’s apartment on Sunday 23 August, following a report from one of Earle’s friends that they had been unable to contact him.

Police spokesperson Don Aaron also told radio station WKRN that the cause of death was a “probable drug overdose”, though an autopsy is still pending.

News of Earle’s death was made public after his family posted a statement on Facebook, which read: “It is with tremendous sadness that we inform you of the passing of our son, husband, father and friend Justin.

Justin Townes Earle performs onstage in Indio, California in 2013 Getty)

“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.”

Earle, who was named after the legendary songwriter Townes Van Zandt, had released eight studio albums and an EP, which spanned traditional country music, folk, roots and Americana.

Earle’s struggles with addiction were well known to his fans, and he had spoken in interviews about battling addiction since being in his early teens.

Many musicians and fans paid tribute to the artist following his death, including Stephen King, Jason Isbell, and Billy Bragg.

Enjoy unlimited access to 70 million ad-free songs and podcasts with Amazon Music Sign up now for a 30-day free trial

Sign up

“Had a lot of good times and made a lot of good music with JTE. So sad for his family tonight,” wrote Isbell. “Justin bought the suit I got married in.”

Bragg wrote: “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.”

To find support for drug addiction near you, visit the website for Frank. You can also call the charity’s 24/7 helpline on 0300 123 6600, text 82111 or send an email.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in