Singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt is dead at 45 after an overdose of prescription muscle relaxants, the Los Angeles Times reports. Chesnutt was paralyzed in a car accident in 1983 and despite being confined to a wheelchair and having only limited use of his arms, he fashioned a career as a critically acclaimed singer, songwriter, and guitarist after being discovered by REM singer Michael Stipe in the late 1980s. Chesnutt struggled with his health problems, however, and was frustrated by difficulties maintaining adequate health insurance and paying off his extensive medical bills. In 1996, a number of A-list bands, including the Smashing Pumpkins, REM, and Hootie and the Blowfish, released a tribute album featuring Chesnutt's songs in order to raise money for other uninsured musicians.
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