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Mark Linkous, aka Sparklehorse, takes his own life, his family says [Updated + Corrected]


North Carolina-based singer-songwriter Mark Linkous, who recorded under the name Sparklehorse, has committed suicide, his family said. Known most recently as part of the Danger Mouse and David Lynch collaboration "Dark Night of the Soul," which will finally see an official album release this year, Linkous specialized in a somewhat dreamy, fractured take on blues and folk heard through the prism of his own unique style of songcraft. 

The news of his passing was confirmed via an online statement attributed to his family. "It is with great sadness that we share the news that our dear friend and family member, Mark Linkous, took his own life today," read the statement posted on the official Sparklehorse website. "We are thankful for his time with us and will hold him forever in our hearts."

[Updated at 2:05 p.m.: A spokeswoman for the artist corroborated the family's statement and provided additional details. Linkous took his own life with a gun on Saturday, she said. He was 47.]

Frequently working with a wide variety of vintage instruments and curious noisemakers, Linkous first rose to prominence with 1995's "Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot," which was produced with the help of Cracker's David Lowery and spawned the brief alt-radio hit "Someday I Will Treat You Good." Subsequent albums featured contributions from P.J. Harvey, Tom Waits and Brian Burton's Danger Mouse, who contributed to Sparklehorse's 2006 album "Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain."

[For the record: An earlier version of this post incorrectly spelled the last name of Cracker's David Lowery as Lowry.]

Linkous was briefly paralyzed after a near-overdose of Valium and antidepressants in 1996, and eventually grew to use leg braces to get around after the accident destroyed his calf muscles. In a 2007 interview, Linkous talked about struggling with depression for years before recording his 2006 album. "It just got really bad for three years. It was this vortex I couldn't climb out of," he explained. "I think probably a little confidence is what helped, and that confidence was music. Just getting a song down, one at a time, that I felt was decent."

"He's not like anybody I've ever worked with, and probably won't be," Burton said in an interview that year. Linkous leaves behind a unique collection of music that never entirely repeated itself, yet never sounded like anything but a Sparklehorse record. A mercurial artist who took five years to follow up his 2001 album "It's a Wonderful Life," Linkous was nearly finished with recording a new album for Anti- Records, Rolling Stone reported. 

“We are thankful for his time with us and will hold him forever in our hearts," read the Linkous family statement. "May his journey be peaceful, happy and free. There’s a heaven and there’s a star for you.”

[Updated at 2:05 p.m.: His survivors include his wife, Teresa; his mother, Gloria Hughes Thacker; his father, Frederick Linkous; and his brothers, Matt, Paul and Daniel Linkous.]

-- Chris Barton


Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous and David Lynch bring 'Dark Night of the Soul' to L.A.

Photo: Mark Linkous in 2006. Credit: Timothy Saccenti / Astralwerks

Comments () | Archives (18)

This is so sad. I hope he has found his peace.

My deepest condolence to his family, his lifes music lives his spirit is at rest.
Thank you.

Thanks for your songs and your magnificent talent. Hope you rest in peace.

Another free creative spirit has taken his own life. He is in the arms of the angels now.

Mark Linkous created some incredible music.Living in my boring 9 to 5 life I would have thought this chance to get ones music out there would be satisfying enough to keep the demons away but depression and anxiety are terrible dark things to deal with and I guess Mark couldn't cope anymore.Sad news and my thoughts go out to his family and friends

Such a sad day. Thank you Mark. Thank you for the music you brought to us.

May he finally find the peace he wanted.

He is really tired of his life but whatever his concerns are, it could have been better if he asked for help and not take his own life.

What a loss, what a life, what a talent. My friends sang 'It's a Wonderful Life' at my 50th birthday. I'm so sorry Mark did not get to see his....so many deaths recently from depression. It is treatable....just hang in there..... my thoughts are with his family.

it's a sad and beautiful world. though few will probably notice, it's a huge loss of a great, creative talent.

it's a sad and beautiful world. though few will notice, it's a huge loss of a very creative talent.

All we have to do is our work one day at a time. Everything will be alright.

I saw him play a couple of times here in Italy and his music was incredibly evokative and mesmerizing. It's a truly sad day for all Sparklehorse fans out there. Riposa in pace Mark.

My condolences to his wife and family.

RIP Mark, I am gonna miss you like hell, I have been following you since Vivadixie, you got me through some rough times, I wish you had someone too who could help you.

thx for all the wonderfull music...and may your Heart of Darkness find some rest now.

'Shade and Honey' is one of my favourite songs (Mark played all the instruments for that song). When I heard the news, I played that song again. RIP, Mark. Thanks for Sparklehorse. I'm glad, that in a small way, you were a part of my life.

some of the best music i have ever heard. i was lucky to see him twice live, once at fingerprints record store in long beach. he will be sadly missed.."she's whispering like morticia now"

Sparklehorse’s music has been inspiring me for over 16 years (That’s
slightly more than half my life) and I’m sure his music has inspired many
others. I had the pleasure of filming an interview with him once and he
really was a gentle soul. A true musical maverick. RIP Mark Linkous.


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