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Vic Chestnutt

Bobby Bank/Getty Images

Singer and songwriter Vic Chesnutt is dead at 45.

The low-key "Sponge" penner was known for his wittingly dark tunes, covered by the likes of Madonna, R.E.M., Smashing Pumpkins and Hootie and the Blowfish.

Chesnutt died Friday in a hospital in Athens, Ga., after being in a coma for a week from an intentional overdose of prescription muscle relaxants, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In an interview with the newspaper earlier this month, Chesnutt discussed his country song, "Flirted With You All My Life," which he said served as a sort of breakup letter to his own thoughts of ending his life.

"I've been a suicidal person all my life, and that song is me finally being 'Screw you, death,'" Chesnutt said.

The low-key, indie music star spent his career performing from a wheelchair, after a car crash at 18 left him partially paralyzed.  

It was that car crash that spurned his songwriting career.

"It was only after I broke my neck and even like maybe a year later that I really started realizing that I had something to say," Chesnutt said in an interview on NPR show "Fresh Air".

The late music artist leaves behind his wife, Tina Whatley Chesnutt, sister Lorinda Crane, and a bevy of musical hits from more than 15 albums.


 Take a look back at other shocking pop star deaths in our gallery.