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Underground singer-songwriter Daniel Johnston dead at 58

Daniel Johnston, a quirky folk singer-songwriter and visual artist whose offbeat career and struggles with mental illness brought him a cult following and inspired a documentary film, has died at age 58.

According to a statement issued by his family, Johnston died of natural causes Wednesday morning at his Houston-area home. His brother, Dick Johnston, says Daniel had been plagued for years with health issues.

Musicians such as Kurt Cobain and Tom Waits, as well as “The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening, are among those who have expressed a fondness for Johnston’s work.

Johnston’s struggles with manic depression formed the heart of the Oscar-nominated 2005 documentary “The Devil and Daniel Johnston.” His songs often contained innocent pleas for love and bore titles such as “Life in Vain,” ”True Love Will Find You in the End” and “Walking the Cow.”

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