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Sufjan Stevens dedicates new album to his ‘beloved’ late partner Evans Richardson

American singer-songwriter rarely comments on his personal life

Tom Murray
Friday 06 October 2023 21:07 BST
Oscars 2018: Sufjan Stevens performs song 'Mystery of Love' from Call Me By Your Name

Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens appears to have come out as gay in an Instagram post dedicating his new album Javelin to his former partner Evan Richardson, who passed away in April.

In her four-star review for The Independent, published before Stevens’s post, Helen Brown posited that Javelin “feels like a breakup album” due to its themes of heartbreak and love lost.

In an Instagram post shared Friday (6 October), Stevens clarified that the album was inspired by the loss of his “beloved” partner.

“This album is dedicated to the light of my life, my beloved partner and best friend Evans Richardson, who passed away in April,” he wrote alongside a photo of Richardson lying in bed.

“He was an absolute gem of a person, full of life, love, laughter, curiosity, integrity, and joy. He was one of those rare and beautiful ones you find only once in a lifetime – precious, impeccable, and absolutely exceptional in every way.”

He continued: “I know relationships can be very difficult sometimes, but it’s always worth it to put in the hard work and care for the ones you love, especially the beautiful ones, who are few and far between.

“If you happen to find that kind of love, hold it close, hold it tight, savor it, tend to it, and give it everything you’ve got, especially in times of trouble.

“Be kind, be strong, be patient, be forgiving, be vigorous, be wise, and be yourself. Live every day as if it is your last, with fullness and grace, with reverence and love, with gratitude and joy. This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Stevens has long been guarded about his romantic status to the chagrin of some of his more obsessive fans. “You know I love you/ But everything heaven-sent must burn out in the end,” he sings on the opening track, “Goodbye Evergreen”.

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According to his obituary, Richardson was 43.

The news comes weeks after Stevens revealed his own diagnosis with the serious autoimmune disease, Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS).

The disease, which left him unable to walk, is treatable and Stevens said he is currently undergoing physical rehabilitation.

Detroit-born Stevens is known for his melancholic, ethereal sound. His 2017 track “Mystery of Love”, written for Luca Guadagnino’s acclaimed gay romance of the same year, Call Me by Your Name, was nominated for a Grammy and an Oscar.

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