Daniel Johnston, cult US indie songwriter who captivated the likes of Kurt Cobain and Tom Waits, has died of natural causes, his family confirmed in a statement. He was 58.

“The Johnston family is deeply saddened to announce the death of their brother, Daniel Johnston,” his family said in a statement.

“He passed away from natural causes this morning at his home outside of Houston, Texas.”

“Keeping him healthy has been the struggle and when he’s not well, you deal with a different person,” Johnston’s brother Dick said in an interview.

His brother said that Johnston had been hospitalised last week with kidney malfunction, and returned home a day before his death.

“He was lucid and in good spirits,” he said.


“As good as I’ve seen him in years. The [ankle] swelling was down and the problem looked good. He was happy to be home.”

His body was discovered in his room on Wednesday morning.