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The New York Times - Elliott Smith - 16 Janvier 2012
Publié le 16 Janvier 2012
Elliott Smith, whose songs of despair and self-doubt made him a luminary of independent rock and earned him an Academy Award nomination, died at the age of 34 from knife wounds that might have been self inflicted.
Mr. Smith reached his largest audience when he performed ''Miss Misery,'' the song he wrote for ''Good Will Hunting,'' on the Academy Awards telecast in 1998. But for much of the 1990's, he was widely heard on college radio stations and on the club circuit, where he was admired for his delicately harrowing songs and, on his first albums, for the intimacy of his recordings.
In his songs, he wrote about drug abuse, failing relationships, betrayals and occasional glimmers of hope. His sense of melody harked back to the Beatles and to folk-rock, but within the understated settings were bleak stories of turmoil, addiction, domestic violence and despair.
Elliott Smith's real name was Steven Paul Smith. He was born in Omaha and grew up in Dallas and in Portland, Ore. He began writing songs as a teenager. He also started calling himself Elliott because, he once said, Steve Smith was too alliterative and Steve sounded too ''jockish.'' — Jon Pareles
Elliott Smith sounded like a ghost while he was alive. When he sang about self-doubt, betrayal and addiction in his neatly wrought tunes, there was always a whiff of cold air blowing through his voice.
Elliott Smith has been performing for the last few years alone with his acoustic guitar, singing in a quiet, wispy voice. But he is no folk singer; he is, instead, a pop craftsman who rethinks structure with every song.
Singer and songwriter Elliott Smith is found dead at his home in Los Angeles, apparently of self-inflicted stab wound; achieved fame during his years working in Brooklyn, but kept obscure, low profile; photo