Sparklehorses’s Mark Linkous dies

Singer-songwriter was 47

Mark Linkous, singer-songwriter for the group Sparklehorse, committed suicide Saturday in Knoxville, Tenn. He was 47.

Linkous shot himself outside a friend’s home.

Born and raised in Virginia, he began working professionally in the mid-’80s as a member of the New York indie rock band Dancing Hoods, whose lineup also included future A&R and publishing executive Bob Bortnick. The group relocated to L.A. but disbanded in the late ’80s.

Linkous moved back to his home state, where he performed under the handles the Johnson Family and Salt Chunk Mary.

He received his greatest critical recognition with the ad hoc studio group Sparklehorse, cutting five albums of dark, highly personalized psychedelia with shifting lineups for labels including Capitol and Astralwerks. In 2009, Linkous collaborated with director David Lynch and producer Danger Mouse on the multimedia project “Dark Night of the Soul,” which has yet to be released.

He is survived by his wife, Teresa; his mother and father; plus three brothers.

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