Steven Paul Smith (August 6, 1969 – October 21, 2003), better known as Elliott Smith, was an American singer-songwriter and musician. His primary instrument was the guitar, but he was also proficient at piano, clarinet, bass, harmonica and drums. Smith had a distinctive vocal style characterized by his "whispery, spiderweb-thin delivery", and use of multi-tracking to create vocal harmonies. Although born in Omaha, Nebraska and raised primarily in Texas, Smith spent the majority of his life in Portland, Oregon.
After playing in the rock band Heatmiser for several years, Smith began his solo career in 1994 with releases on the independent record labels Cavity Search and Kill Rock Stars. He eventually signed a major label contract with DreamWorks Records in 1997, for which he recorded two albums. Smith rose to mainstream prominence when his song "Miss Misery", written for the film Good Will Hunting, was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Original Song category in 1998.
Smith battled with depression, alcohol and drug addiction for years, and these topics would often appear in his lyrics. At age 34, he died from two apparently self-inflicted stab wounds to the chest; however, the evidence surrounding his death remains inconclusive.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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