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JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE, 1982-2020

Singer-songwriter Justin Townes Earle, the son of Steve Earle who blossomed as an Americana star over the last decade and a half, has died. He was 38.

In a post on Earle’s Facebook page, photographer Joshua Black Wilkins writes: “It is with tremendous sadness that we inform you of the passing of our son, husband, father and friend Justin. 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. You will be missed dearly Justin.”

Lyrics from “Looking for A Place to Land” were included in the post, which did not include a cause, location or date of his death.

Earle’s solo recording career began with Yuma (Bloodshot) in 2007, the first of nine albums he would release. His last album was 2019’s The Saint of Lost Causes (New West) and, like his father’s work, he took on social issues such as the criminal justice system.

He received the Emerging Act of the Year award at the 2009 Americana Music Association Honors & Awards and his “Harlem River Blues” was named Song of the Year at the 2011 event.

As a teenager, Earle played in Nashville bands before joining his father’s band, The Dukes. Steve Earle fired Justin, citing his son’s drug use. Justin Townes Earle had been sober in recent years though he struggled with heroin addiction in his teens and 20s.

Fellow artists offered condolences and remembrances via social media.

 

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