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Nashville Music Icon Justin Townes Earle, Dead at 38

Son of country legend Steve Earle, Justin Townes Earle last visited Australia in August of 2019 in support of his ninth studio album.

Justin Townes Earle has passed away at the age of 38, his official Facebook page has confirmed.

Joshua Black Wilkins*

Globally-renowned Americana artist Justin Townes Earle has passed away, his official Facebook page has revealed, aged 38.

The news was broken earlier this morning, with a post accompanied by the lyrics to his song “Looking for A Place to Land”.

“It is with tremendous sadness that we inform you of the passing of our son, husband, father and friend Justin,” the post stated. “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.”

At the current time, no details regarding Earle’s cause of death have been revealed.

Born in 1982, Earle is the son of country musician Steve Earle, who gave him the middle name of “Townes” in honour of country icon Townes Van Zandt. Releasing his first album in 2007, Earle went on to release a number of acclaimed records, including 2019’s The Patron Saint of Lost Causes, which was named one of the best country and Americana albums of 2019 by Rolling Stone.

It was this record that brought Earle to Australia for his last tour of the country, kicking off an extensive visit in August and September of 2019.

In addition to serving as a constant figure on the US Rock, Indie, and Folk charts, Earle was also a two-time winner at the Americana Music Honors & Awards, winning the Emerging Artist of the Year honour in 2009, and Song of the Year in 2011 for “Harlem River Blues”.

Earle had also been open about his struggles with addiction over the years, which culminated in a number of periods spent in rehabilitation centres. In an interview with Chris Shifflett in 2017, Earle claimed that he had once again reclaimed his sobriety thanks to the help of marijuana.

Earle is survived by his wife Jenn, and daughter, Etta St. James Earle.