Star-studded virtual tribute concert planned for late songwriter Adam Schlesinger

NEW YORK — Members of the Monkees, R.E.M., Dashboard Confessional and The Black Keys are turning out for a virtual tribute concert next month for Adam Schlesinger, who died of COVID-19 a year ago.

“Adam Schlesinger, A Musical Celebration, Virtual Show” will premiere May 5 on the Rolling Live platform, with proceeds going to MusiCares and the venue The Bowery Electric.

Schlesinger, a prolific songwriter, was best known for his band Fountains of Wayne but was a producer and writer for several projects, including the television series “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” whose star, Rachel Bloom, is booked for the tribute.

Others who will perform or pay tribute include Courtney Love, Sean Ono Lennon, Drew Carey, Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional, Peter Buck of R.E.M., Patrick Carney of the Black Keys, Mickey Dolenz of the Monkees, James Iha of Smashing Pumpkins, Ben Lee and Taylor Hanson. The lineup is expected to expand.

Adam Schlesinger: Emmy-winning songwriter of Fountains of Wayne dies of coronavirus at 52

Emmy and Grammy winning musician Adam Schlesinger, co-founder of the band Fountains of Wayne, died April 1 due to coronavirus complications. He was 52. (Photo: Jason Merritt/TERM, FilmMagic for Superfly Presents)

The tribute is being organized by Jody Porter, Schlesinger’s former bandmate in Fountains of Wayne.

“This is a proper musical send-off for my soul brother with a bunch of talented and groovy guests that would make Adam wince,” Porter said.

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Schlesinger formed the power-pop group Fountains of Wayne in 1995, playing bass, with Chris Collingwood, who played guitar and sang lead vocals. The band was named after a lawn ornament store in Wayne, New Jersey, near Schlesinger’s Montclair hometown. The 2003 hit  “Stacy’s Mom,” which had a music video featuring model Rachel Hunter, was the band’s most popular song.

He received Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for writing the theme song to the 1996 Tom Hanks-directed movie “That Thing You Do!” Schlesinger won two Emmys for parody songs written for the 2012 and 2013 Tony Awards telecasts, and won another in 2019 for co-writing “Antidepressants Are So Not a Big Deal” Bloom’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.”

Contributing: Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY

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