Adam Schlesinger, Emmy-winning songwriter behind 'Stacy's Mom', dies of COVID-19

Adam Schlesinger.
Adam Schlesinger and Rachel Hunter (from the video for 'Stacy's Mom') Photo credit: Getty

Adam Schlesinger, a musician and Emmy-winning songwriter highly regarded for his work as a member of Fountains of Wayne and songwriter for TV's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, has died of COVID-19.

Schlesinger co-wrote Fountains of Wayne's 2003 hit 'Stacy's Mom', the video for which starred Kiwi supermodel Rachel Hunter.

"I am grasping for the right words" tweeted friend Chris Carrabba, from the band Dashboard Confessional, confirming Schlesinger's death. "My dear friend Adam Schlesinger has passed away from COVID-19."

Schlesinger had been in an upstate New York hospital for more than a week. Fountains of Wayne bandmate Chris Collingwood had earlier posted a note from Schlesinger's family stating that "his condition is improving and we are cautiously optimistic".

Schlesinger had been nominated for Oscars, Tonys, Grammys and Emmys and won the latter two awards. At the 2018 Emmys, he was up for two trophies for his Crazy Ex-Girlfriend work and picked up one, winning in the outstanding original music and lyrics category for the song 'Antidepressants Are So Not A Big Deal' (shared with the show's star, Rachel Bloom, and Jack Dolgen).

He is a 10-time Emmy nominee in all, five of those for 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend', for which he served as executive music producer. Five more being nods for his contributions to the Tony Awards, Sesame Street and a Stephen Colbert Christmas special.

His Oscar nomination in 1997 was for co-writing the theme song for the Tom Hanks-directed film That Thing You Do!, one of his first successful forays outside the realm of his own music-making with Fountains of Wayne. He was also nominated for a Golden Globe at that time.

"There would be no Playtone without Adam Schlesinger, without his That Thing You Do!" Hanks - who also had COVID-19 - tweeted.

"He was a One-der. Lost him to Covid-19.  Terribly sad today."

The One-ders were the fictional band in the movie. 

Fountains of Wayne, the real band Schlesinger co-founded with Chris Collingwood, earned two Grammy nominations in 2003, for best new artist (many years after the band's actual recording debut) and for best pop performance by a group for the top 20 single 'Stacy's Mom', a cheeky MTV staple that became the band's biggest hit. 

His lone Grammy win, though, came for best comedy album for his work on A Stephen Colbert Christmas.