Adam Lyons Schlesinger (October 31, 1967 – March 31, 2020) was an American singer-songwriter, record producer, and guitarist who won three Emmy Awards, a Grammy Award, and the ASCAP Pop Music Award, and was also nominated for Academy, Tony, and Golden Globe Awards.
Adam Schlesinger grew up in Manhattan and Montclair, New Jersey, and attended Montclair High School. He went on to Williams College where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy.
He was a founding member of the bands Fountains of Wayne, Ivy, and Tinted Windows, and was a key songwriting contributor and producer for Brooklyn-based synth-pop duo Fever High.
He was also a record producer and mixer, and worked with an number of bands including The Monkees, Fever High, Dashboard Confessional, Swirl 360, Tahiti 80, Motion City Soundtrack, Verve Pipe, Robert Plant, America, The Sounds, They Might Be Giants, Fastball, and many others, as well as producing or co-producing five Fountains of Wayne and five Ivy albums.
Adam Schlesinger was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe Award in 1997 for writing the title track of the Tom Hanks-directed film That Thing You Do!
Fountains of Wayne was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2003 for Best New Artist and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for “Stacy’s Mom”.
Adam Schlesinger and David Javerbaum received two Tony nominations in 2008 for Best Musical and Best Original Score for the musical Cry-Baby. They also received an Emmy nomination in 2009 for Outstanding Music and Lyrics for their song “Much Worse Things”, which was performed by Elvis Costello and Stephen Colbert on the television special and album A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!. The album, co-written by Adam Schlesinger and Javerbaum, and co-produced by Schlesinger and Steven M. Gold, won the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album.
Adam Schlesinger received a 2013 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Original Song for his “Elmo the Musical” theme for Sesame Street. He and Molly Boylan received a 2011 Daytime Emmy nomination for the song “I Wonder” from Sesame Street.
Schlesinger and Javerbaum received a 2012 Emmy Award for Outstanding Music And Lyrics for their song “It’s Not Just for Gays Anymore”, performed by Neil Patrick Harris as the opening number of the 65th Tony Awards telecast; and a 2013 Emmy Award for Outstanding Music And Lyrics for their song “If I Had Time”, performed by Neil Patrick Harris as the closing number of the 66th Tony Awards telecast.
Adam Schlesinger received two 2016 Emmy nominations for his work on the CW series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for “Settle for Me” (co-written with Rachel Bloom and Jack Dolgen), and Outstanding Main Title Theme (co-written with Rachel Bloom). In 2017 he received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for “We Tapped That Ass” (co-written with Rachel Bloom and Jack Dolgen) from the CW series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. He won the 2019 Emmy award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for “Antidepressants Are So Not a Big Deal” and was nominated for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music for “Meet Rebecca” (Season 4 Theme) from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (both co-written with Rachel Bloom and Jack Dolgen).
On March 31, 2020, Adam Schlesinger died in Poughkeepsie, New York, at the age of 52 as a result of health complications caused by COVID-19.
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