Singer-songwriter David Berman, best known as the frontman and lyricist of indie band Silver Jews, has died at the age of 52.
Berman’s record label, Drag City Records, announced the news on Twitter.
In a statement, it said: “We couldn’t be more sorry to tell you this. David Berman passed away earlier today.
“A great friend and one of the most inspiring individuals we’ve ever known is gone. Rest easy, David.”
No cause of death was given.
Berman, who was Jewish, had battled substance abuse and mental health problems, formed Silver Jews in New York City in 1989 with Stephen Malkmus and Bob Nastanovich.
The acclaimed group released six albums before splitting in 2009. Berman released a new album in July with his band Purple Mountains.
The group was set to go on tour on Saturday. Malkmus, also known as part of indie rock band Pavement, was among those to pay tribute.
Referencing a tweet he had posted before news of Berman’s death had been announced which said “bad stuff is happening to friends”, Malkmus said “depression is crippling”.
He wrote: “I didn’t know about my friend DCB when I wrote this must have been in the air .His death is f***ing dark ..depression is crippling.. he was a one of a kinder the songs he wrote were his main passion esp at the end. Hope death equals peace cuz he could sure use it.”
Nastanovich, a member of Pavement and former member of Silver Jews, also paid tribute, saying in a statement: “For most of my life, I was amazed by David as a person, a humorist and a writer.
“It was enlightening to have such a talented friend at a young age and realise that the talent wasn’t always a blessing.”
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.