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Daniel Johnston

Visual Artist
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Daniel Dale Johnston (January 22, 1961 – September 11, 2019) was an American singer-songwriter and visual artist regarded as a significant figure in outsider, lo-fi, and alternative music scenes. Most of his work consisted of cassettes recorded alone in his home, and his music was frequently cited for its "pure" and "childlike" qualities.

Johnston spent extended periods in psychiatric institutions and was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. He gathered a local following in the 1980s by passing out tapes of his music while working at a McDonald's in Austin, Texas. His cult status was propelled when Nirvana's Kurt Cobain was seen wearing a T-shirt that featured artwork from Johnston's 1983 album Hi, How Are You and artists such as Pearl Jam, The Flaming Lips, and Beck covered his songs and cited him as an influence. In 2005, Johnston was the subject of the documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston.

Last Updated: September 16, 2019

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