Singer Justin Townes Earle, Son of Country Rocker Steve Earle, Dead at Age 38

Combined Shape

Americana singer-songwriter Justin Townes Earle, son of the notorious country rocker Steve Earle, passed away Thursday at his Nashville, Tennessee, home.

While no cause of death was mentioned, the 38-year-old’s death was confirmed by his record label and on his Facebook page Sunday.

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

“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.”

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“You will be missed dearly Justin.”

Earle produced nine albums and his music has been described as a mix of country, rockabilly, folk and blues — but he wasn’t always confident he had something musical to offer the world.

Listening to Nirvana and Dr. Dre certainly shaped Earle’s style, but it wasn’t until he discovered Woody Guthrie that he really realized his own unique take on music could be valuable.

“I realised there was a way to come from the place I came from,” he told The Scotsman in 2015. “I found an amount of comfort in it and I also found something I was good at that was legal.”

Following in his father’s footsteps, the young man dealt with drug addiction from an early age — as early as 12 years old.

His website biography referred to him as being a “recently married, sober man” at the time of his 2014 album, “Single Mothers.”

Earle’s name was a nod to his godfather Townes Van Zandt, from whom he took more than a name.

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“I took a lot from Townes — don’t explain too much or write your song like it’s a thesis, don’t give them all the information, leave some things out for interpretation,” he explained.

“I’ve never been a bashful person — obviously something I get from my father,” he said. “There’s nothing for people to figure out about me, no dirt for anybody to dig up about me somewhere in my past because I’ve already given it.”

The post from Sunday confirming Earle’s death concluded with lyrics from his song “Looking for a Place to Land”:

“I’ve crossed oceans / Fought freezing rain and blowing sand / I’ve crossed lines and roads and wondering rivers / Just looking for a place to land.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
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