Singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt--who issued poignant, candid songs peppered with humor--died Christmas Day at age 45. He had been in a coma "after taking an overdose of muscle relaxants earlier this week," reports the New York Times. Paralyzed at age 18 in a car accident, Chesnutt performed in a wheelchair. He's perhaps best known for his atheist anthem "Speed Racer."
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"He was able to bring levity to very dark emotions and feelings, and he had a humor that was really quite unusual," R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe, who produced Chesnutt's first two album, told NPR. "I said recently that I thought he was one of our greatest songwriters, and one of our greatest voices."