Americana Artist Justin Townes Earle Dies

Musician and songwriter Justin Townes Earle died August 23, 2020 in Nashville at the age of 38.  No official cause of death was given; however, Earle was found in his Nashville home by law enforcement officials answering a call for a welfare check. 

Police say the cause of death may be from a drug overdose; an autopsy is pending.

Justin, like his father Steve, have had a history with addiction.

An American roots music performer, he was the son of Alternative Country artist Steve Earle, the Americana Honors and Awards named Justin the Emerging Act of the Year in 2009.

Besides sharing the stage with his father, Earle performed with the Distributors, the Swindlers, Jason Isbell, and The Head & The Heart.  A frequent performer on the festival circuit, Earle has performed at numerous events including the Stagecoach, Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, and Glastonbury.

He released his debut album “Yuma” in 2007 and released seven more albums during his career with “The Saint of Lost Causes” his final album in  2019.

His music has appeared on “Mystery Road”, “The Ranch”, “Motel Life”, “The Marty Stuart Show”, “90210”, the “Late Show with David Letterman”, “Sons of Anarchy”, “Treme”, and “Justified”.

Justin Himself has a handful of acting credits to his name as a wedding guest in “Beautiful Boy”, a member of the Courthouse crowd in “Proverbs”, “Black Cab Sessions USA”, and as a musician in “Treme”.  “My Fool Heart”, where he played a mysterious man, is currently in post production.

An only child to Steve Earle and Carol Ann Hunter,orn January 4, 1982, Earle was named after artist Townes Van Zandt.  Earle once said that his first name was supposed to be Townes, but his mother would not have it; therefore Townes became his middle name.

Earle is survived by his wife Jenn, a child, and his parents.

feature photo credit: By Bryan Ledgard –, CC BY 2.0,

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