Sunday, May 24, 2009

Jay Bennett, Former Wilco Member Dies at Age of 45

Jay Bennett, Former Wilco Member
Multi-instrumentalist and former member of Wilco Jay Bennett died this weekend, according to a post on the website for Undertow Music Collective. He was 45.A cause of death was unknown. “We are profoundly saddened to report that our friend died in his sleep last night. Jay was a beautiful human being who will be missed,” read the update on Undertow. The company released his 2002 solo album, “Palace at 4 am (Part I).”

Representatives from the label and management firm had not responded to requests for comment as of Sunday evening, but the Chicago Sun-Times reached Bennett’s friend and collaborator Edward Burch. "Early this morning, Jay died in his sleep and an autopsy is being performed," Burch told Jim DeRogatis.

In the late ‘80s, Bennett founded the rock band Titanic Love Affair in Urbana, Ill., which lasted into the mid-‘90s. He was best known for his seven years in adventurous rock act Wilco. Bennett split from the Chicago-based group in 2001, and since his departure had been pursuing a solo career, as well as operating Pieholden Suite Sound – named after a song on Wilco’s 1999 album “Summerteeth” -- in Champaign , Ill. Bennett released the solo effort “Whatever Happened I Apologize” via the Web late last year, and reported at that time that he was pursuing "another" master’s degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Yet it was Bennett’s time in Wilco that won him the most acclaim.


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