Indie musician Mark Linkous—psych-folk pioneer of acclaimed band Sparklehorse—committed suicide last night, his second known attempt and the second time he has been legally dead. He was in his forties.
Linkous' publicist confirmed the death to Rolling Stone, and his family issued a statement: "It is with great sadness that we share the news that our dear friend and family member, Mark Linkous, took his own life today. We are thankful for his time with us and will hold him forever in our hearts. May his journey be peaceful, happy and free. There's a heaven and there's a star for you." Rolling Stone writes:
Linkous' dramatic, lush music often came from a place of pain. In 1996, Linkous actually died for two minutes after ingesting a dangerous mix of Valium and antidepressants while on tour in the U.K. behind Sparklehorse's 1995 debut Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot. He recovered, but the incident left him crippled—he laid unconscious for 14 hours, cutting off circulation to his legs. He suffered a heart attack when medics attempted to straighten his legs, and underwent seven surgeries to save his damaged limbs. But after the incident, he recorded 1999's Good Morning Spider, 2001's It's A Wonderful Life and 2006's Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain. "For a while there, I was really scared that when I technically died—which I guess I did for a few minutes—that the part of my brain that allowed me my ability to write songs would be damaged," he told Rolling Stone in 1999.
Mark's most recent project—a multimedia collaboration with DJ Danger Mouse and director David Lynch entitled Dark Night of the Soul—emerged from a torturous legal battle just this week. In June, NPR recounted the project's cryptic early stages.