Famous friends, fans, music critics and more mourned the Emmy-winning songwriter Adam Schlesinger from the band Fountains of Wayne Wednesday after his death from complications of the coronavirus disease.
Schlesinger, who grew up in Montclair, was 52.
Alongside Chris Collingwood, he was a founding member of Fountains of Wayne, a group named for a Route 46 store that sold outdoor furniture and lawn ornaments. The band, which produced the 2003 hit song “Stacy’s Mom,” was nominated for two Grammys — best pop performance by a duo or group for “Stacy’s Mom” and best new artist.
Schlesinger was also known for his songwriting work, on TV and on Broadway as well as in movies. He was nominated for an Academy Award for the title song of the 1997 Tom Hanks film “That Thing You Do!” (Hanks was among the first celebrities to test positive for the coronavirus disease in March.)
“This is my Big Cousin Adam,” he posted on Instagram Tuesday, sharing news that Schlesinger was on a ventilator and being treated for the coronavirus disease. “He is one of the most talented people in the world. As a boy I’d be blown away watching and listening to him play and sing. He taught me how cool it is to be an artist.”
Schlesinger shared in a 2012 Emmy win with David Javerbaum for “It’s Not Just for Gays Anymore,” a song they wrote for Neil Patrick Harris when he was hosting the Tonys. They followed that up with another Emmy win in 2013 for the song “If I Had Time,” again performed by Harris at the Tonys.
Alongside Javerbaum, Schlesinger received Tony nominations for best original score and best musical for the 2008 production of “Cry-Baby.” The duo also won a Grammy in 2010 for the Stephen Colbert comedy album “A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!”
In 2019, Schlesinger shared in an Emmy win with “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” creator Rachel Bloom and Jack Dolgen for the song “Antidepressants Are So Not A Big Deal.”
“I have so much to say about Adam Schlesinger that I am at a complete loss for words,” she tweeted Wednesday night. “He is irreplaceable.”
Before he died, Schlesinger was set to work with Bloom, Fran Drescher and Peter Marc Jacobson on “The Nanny: A New Musical,” adapted from the ’90s TV sitcom that starred Drescher.
“We will miss you… Adam Schlesinger died of Covid 19 at age 52 today,” Drescher posted on Instagram. “He was writing the Music for The Nanny Musical. (Devastated.) My prayers are for you. May peace be with you.”
On social media, prominent artists and songwriters and fans remembered his many contributions to pop culture, whether it was the irresistible “Stacy’s Mom” and “That Thing You Do,” his work on “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” or his Wham!-inspired music from the 2007 Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore romantic comedy “Music and Lyrics.”
“Adam Schlesinger took pop music writing to its classiest and most untouchable place,” tweeted songwriter and producer Jack Antonoff, who grew up in Woodcliff Lake and New Milford. “An honor to live at the same time he made his work.”
“Raising my head above water to say that I’m grieving Adam Schlesinger,” tweeted another fellow New Jerseyan, singer-songwriter Ted Leo, who grew up in Bloomfield. “I know so many people who knew him much better than I did, and I’m grieving for them as well. Love to you all in trying times.”
Singer-songwriter Ben Lee said he knew Schlesinger for more than 20 years.
“Worked on some songs together, toured the US supporting Fountains, and always found him to be an (exemplary) craftsman, artist and mensch,” Lee tweeted. “Love you buddy.”
“For those of you who know my life as a songwriter- Adam Schlesinger’s career was always a big source of inspiration for me,” tweeted actor Darren Criss. “He had a lyrical cheekiness that was only matched by his expert understanding of form, and was always able to fuse the two in a really fun, accessible way. The art of making (seemingly) silly things accessible has always been my MO, and when I was starting out, Adam was the gold standard. I never got the chance to meet him but that’s exactly what I would have told him. Thank you so much Adam Schlesinger for your incredible songs- the best parties will forever be the ones where they play your hits.”
“Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn, a big Fountains of Wayne fan, called Schlesinger’s death “heartbreaking.”
“From his work with @fountainsofwayn to his award-winning credits in TV, movies, and stage, millions of fans caught that radiation vibe Adam Schlesinger was groovin’ on,” Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted. “A sad, sad loss for Jersey’s music scene.”
“RIP Adam Schlesinger (Fountains of Wayne), fine singer, witty and satiric songwriter,” Stephen King tweeted. “How terrible to lose him at 52 to this virus.”
This quiz is brought to you in collaboration with Art UK, the online home for Britain’s public art collections, showing art from more than 3,000 venues and by 45,000 artists. Each day, a different collection on Art UK will set the questions.
Today, our questions are set by Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, which has one of the most significant collections of modern British art in the UK. It includes predominantly paintings and works on paper, around 300 studio ceramics and a number of sculptural works. The collection features artists including Frank Auerbach, Lucien Freud and Henry Moore, as well as artists of local significance.
You can see art from Swindon Museum and Art Gallery on Art UK here. Find out more on theSwindon Museum and Art Gallery website here.
Actress Bhumi Pednekar has urged all to fight the COVID-19 pandemic through an anti-spitting campaign that aims to educate people. She has reminded that the dreaded novel coronavirus spreads even by spitting. “We have to defeat coronavirus and everyone has to join hands. Leave the habit of spitting. We have to save the country. Currently, our country is under the threat of corona and the fatal disease spreads even by spitting,” Bhumi said. She added: “We all came together to get associated with the toilet campaign and pledged to make the country clean. Similarly, let’s pledge to make the country corona free, by avoiding to spit here and there.”
Bhumi has recently come out with a campaign titled ‘One Wish For The Earth’ for World Environment Day, on June 5. Several Bollywood personalities like Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Anushka Sharma and Karan Johar have supported the initiative. Big B tweeted and pledged “to be climate-conscious, create awareness within families & communities.”
Akshay shared a video where he spoke about climate change. He said the one wish that he has is to “work towards rebuilding mother nature by the simplest act of planting trees.” Anushka urged everyone to treat animals and plant species with utmost kindness and equality.
Bhumi has become the face of the anti-spitting campaign for Sambandh Health Foundation along with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, endorsing the Spit Free India Movement.
Earlier, actor Abhishek Bachchan had also shared a ‘cool rap’ with anti-spitting in open message to combat COVID19. He had shared a video promoting the government’s message of not spitting in the open in order to stop the spread of coronavirus. Sharing the video, he said, “This cool rap video is a great way to drum home the anti-spitting in open message to combat #Covid19. Remember to stop & SOCH – think about your actions & the repercussions this could have on others! Kudos to @PMOIndia @MoHFW_India @BMGFIndia #KhuleMeinNaThooko #MilkeCoronaRoko”
The RuPaul’s Drag Raceuniverse keeps expanding, and Secret Celebrity Drag Race is yet another very successful spin-off that is destined to be renewed for many seasons. Each episode, RuPaul invited three celebrity guests to compete for the title of America’s Next Celebrity Drag Race Superstar a donation of $10,000 to a charity of their choice.
These celebrities were guided by iconic Drag Race contestants of past seasons, which, on Secret Celebrity, were referred to as Queen Supremes. While it was exciting to watch many of the ultimate Drag Race fan-favorites back on TV, it is only fair to point out that some of them did better than others in this new mentorship role.
10 BEST: Bob The Drag Queen
Bob the Drag Queen felt immediately comfortable as a Queen Supreme on RuPaul’s Secret Celebrity Drag Race, which probably comes from the many years of experience coaching up-and-coming drag performers (such as Miz Cracker) and the lessons she learned while filming HBO’s We’re Here.
On both of her Secret Celebrity appearances, Bob had to coach contestants who were surprisingly introverted and somewhat apprehensive about their makeovers. In both instances, it was clear that these celebrity guests were able to come out of their shell due to Bob’s expert guidance.
9 NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: Kim Chi
Kim Chi is one of the most talented and memorable contestants in the history of RuPaul’s Drag Race. However, it is also fair to say that Kim is a shy individual who excels at her craft when she is executing her own vision.
On Secret CelebrityDrag Race, Kim had the difficult task of mentoring a comedian for a roast challenge. Matt Iseman was very open to suggestions, proved himself to be a great straight ally, and developed deep bonds with the queens. However, this comedian was already very confident about and prepared for the roast (without any mentoring), and Kim’s expertise in throwing shade just didn’t align well with Matt’s style of comedy.
8 BEST: Alyssa Edwards
As the owner of a dance studio and the head of the House of Edwards, Alyssa Edwards has been putting people into drag for the first time and dealing with all kinds of students for over a decade. All of this experience made Alyssa a natural mentor on Secret Celebrity Drag Race – being tough when she needed to, but also kind and patient.
Like Bob the Drag Queen, Alyssa Edwards was featured twice as a Queen Supreme on Secret Celebrity Drag Race. In both instances, Alyssa coached women with strong personalities and got them to push the envelope on what they thought they could or couldn’t do.
7 NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: Asia O’Hara
On season 10 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Asia O’Hara proved that she is a kind, smart, and compassionate individual who has been a motherly figure to many other drag performers. But then Asia was assigned to mentor the multitalented and iconic Vanessa Williams on Secret Celebrity Drag Race.
As a result, fans saw a version of Asia O’Hara who was shier and quieter than usual, going with the flow of things and mostly just being supportive. In her defense, it is hard to imagine anyone ‘coaching’ Vanessa Williams, and the nerves probably got the best of Asia.
6 BEST: Monet X Change
On Drag Race season 10 and All Stars 4, Monet X Change served as a great mentor for the people she transformed on the makeover challenges. Unsurprisingly, Monet was just as funny, supportive, and blunt on Secret Celebrity Drag Race, which highly benefited her mentee Nico Tortorella.
In the episode that featured Monet X Change, her drag sister Bob The Drag Queen was also present, which made their appearances even more entertaining to watch. If you’ve ever seen the two of them interact, they are just like actual siblings who bicker and tease each other on a daily basis.
5 NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: Vanessa Vanjie Mateo
No one can deny the star power that Vanessa Vanjie Mateo has, so much so that she was brought back to compete on Drag Race season 11, then back again on season 12 to mentor the contestants for the Snatch Game, and was also featured as a Queen Supreme on Secret Celebrity Drag Race.
With that said, the iconic and hilarious Miss Vanjie is still a young drag performer who likely didn’t feel entirely comfortable in the mentorship role. Like many other queens, Vanjie is used to doing her own thing and seemingly doesn’t have as much as experience on making over other individuals.
4 BEST: Trinity The Tuck
Trinity The Tuck has been a well-rounded drag performer since her first appearance on season 9 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Then, Trinity won All Stars 4 alongside Monet X Change, which makes her very experienced in the franchise.
On Secret Celebrity Drag Race, Trinity The Tuck was the designated Queen Supreme for comedian and talk show host Loni Love. Throughout the episode, it was clear that Trinity spent a lot of time giving Loni helpful advice, boosts of confidence, and constructive criticism. Despite the fact that Loni Love competed in an episode with Vanessa Williams, Loni certainly stood her ground and did great.
3 NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: Trixie Mattel
It’s no secret that Trixie Mattel doesn’t consider herself a great Drag Race competitor, despite having won All Stars 3. Like Kim Chi, Trixie has a particular sense of humor that can be misinterpreted by those who aren’t deeply familiar with her, and is clearly very uncomfortable being ‘tough’ with others.
These various qualities from Trixie Mattel make her a great entertainer, but someone who still has room to grow as a mentor. It is true that her mentee Jordan Connor won his Secret Celebrity Drag Race episode, but one must note that a significant part of the energy that he brought was already there prior to any guidance.
2 BEST: Nina West
Many of the Queen Supremes are great Drag Race competitors, have loud personalities, and/or have a long history of coaching others to get in drag. But what makes Nina West a great mentor is none of those things. Instead, Nina’s strengths as a mentor are that she is deeply compassionate, a great listener, and always able to make the best out of something.
As Dustin Milligan’s Queen Supreme on Secret Celebrity Drag Race, Nina West was helpful, charming, and precise. Much of Dustin’s transformation was focused on an internal makeover – rather than external changes –, and Nina was the absolute perfect mentor for someone like him.
1 NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: Monique Heart
Monique Heart is one of the best personalities to have ever been on RuPaul’s Drag Race, but fans didn’t see all of that energy being translated into mentorship skills on Secret Celebrity Drag Race.
Madison Beer – Monique Heart’s mentee – came with a set plan for what she wanted to accomplish on the series. As such, just like Vanessa Williams and Matt Iseman in other episodes, there wasn’t much room left for Monique to actually mentor Madison beyond what was already in development.