“It is with tremendous sadness that we inform you of the passing of our son, husband, father and friend Justin,” read the statement on Facebook and Instagram. “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.”
View this post on Instagram
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 💔 “I've crossed oceans Fought freezing rain and blowing sand I've crossed lines and roads and wondering rivers Just looking for a place to land” 📷 by @thejoshuablackwilkins
No cause of death was immediately offered.
Fans and friends reacted to the news with shock and sadness as word began to spread Sunday night, from the Head & the Heart and Margo Price to author Stephen King.
“RIP Justin Townes Earle,” tweeted the band the Head & the Heart. “We had the pleasure of playing a few shows together. He was such an immense songwriter and authentic soul. This year is a thief.”
RIP Justin Townes Earle…
We had the pleasure of playing a few shows together. He was such an immense songwriter and authentic soul. This year is a thief.
— The Head & The Heart (@headandtheheart) August 24, 2020
It appears that Justin Townes Earle has died. I hope it's a hoax but fear it is not. What a loss.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) August 24, 2020
The announcement of his death ended with a lyrical quote:
I’ve crossed oceans
Fought freezing rain and blowing sand
I’ve crossed lines and roads and wondering rivers
Just looking for a place to land
sending love and condolences to Steve Earle and the entire family of Justin Townes Earle… he was always kind to me and he’s gone too soon
— Margo Price (@MissMargoPrice) August 24, 2020
My friend, Justin Townes Earle, has passed away. Such a tremendous songwriter…he took me on 2 tours and always treated me so kindly….he understood struggle, he understood joy…I saw him at the peaks and valleys of both through the 13 years I knew him…we will miss you JT ❤ pic.twitter.com/rq74Qu3Hif
— Samantha Crain (@sjcrain) August 24, 2020
Good night, Justin Townes Earle. I opened for you once in Portland and then watched your whole show side stage, totally amazed. You were real.
— Hiss Golden Messenger (@hissgldnmssr) August 24, 2020
Earle was named in part after the legendary singer Townes Van Zandt, who was a friend and mentor of his famous father, Steve. The singer grew up in a less affluent part of Nashville, raised by his mother, Carol Ann Hunter Earle, before forming a closer bond with his father as an adult.
He released his first EP, “Yuma,” in 2007, and was signed by Bloodshot and released his full-length debut, “The Good Life,” the following year..
In 2009, he won an award from the Americana Music Association for new and emerging artist of the year. He was again the recipient of a top honor when his song “Harlem River Blues” won song of the year in 2011.
Earle was open about having struggled with addiction issues from the time he was 14, and had multiple experiences with relapsing and rehab. His website had referred to “a newfound sobriety. “One day I just realized it’s not cool to die young, and it’s even less cool to die after 30,” he said in a bio on his site, written when he was 32.