Justin Townes Earle, Musician and Son of Steve Earle, Dead at 38

Justin Townes Earle, singer-songwriter and son of alt-country musician Steve Earle, has died. The news was confirmed on Earle's official social media, with a somber message and photo of the singer with guitar in hand.

"It is with tremendous sadness that we inform you of the passing of our son, husband, father and friend Justin. So many of you have relied on his music and lyrics over the years and we hope that his music will continue to guide you on your journeys," the statement reads.

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It closes with a message saying Earle will be missed dearly and lyrics from the song "Looking for a Place to Land." "I've crossed oceans. Fought freezing rain and blowing sand. I've crossed lines and roads and wondering rivers. Just looking for a place to land."

According to Rolling Stone, Earle was known for "old-timey roots music" and "modern-day Americana" with albums like Harlem River Blues in 2010 and Kids in the Street from 2017. His latest album titled The Saint of Lost Causes released in 2019.

Earle was born January 4, 1982 to Steve Earle and mother Carol Ann Hunter. His father named him after songwriter Townes Van Zandt, a name his mother didn't enjoy according to an interview with Rolling Stone in 2019. "My mother hated Townes Van Zandt. My first name was supposed to be Townes, but my mother would not have it," Earle told the outlet. "She hated him because of the trouble that Dad and him got into, but she still played his music."

He had struggles with alcohol and drugs in his career, mirroring his father's life and career until 2017. Earle confirmed to Chris Shiflett on the Walking the Floor podcast that he was sober once his recording career began according to Rolling Stone. "I got all my craziness out of the way as a coffeehouse musician and a roadie," he told the host.

The singer-songwriter was raised in Nashville and actually played with his father a few times in the early days of his career. He recounted his first time playing with his father during his chat with Rolling Stone, joining the outspoken country singer on stage at 17.


"Me and my dad played a few Doc Watson songs," Earle recounted. "We're Earles, we're arrogant, and we always feel good about what we do, but it was intimidating. I'll tell you, the second time we played together, I had to play with him and Guy Clark at MerleFest, in front of Doc Watson. It scared the s— out of me."