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R.I.P Vic Chesnutt

on December 25, 2009, 7:34pm

Update 3: Constellation Records has confirmed that Chesnutt died earlier this afternoon in Athens, Georgia. Donations on behalf of his family are now being accepted here.

Update 2: The Athens Blur Magazine has removed its previous report without explanation, instead running this story.  We will keep you updated on Chesnutt’s condition as more details become available.

Update: According to The Athens Blur Magazine, Chesnutt has died. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family this Christmas day.

Vic Chesnutt, the critically acclaimed Athens, Georgia based singer/songwriter, is in a coma and currently finds himself battling for his life. His label, Constellation Records, confirmed the news earlier this evening:

“Vic is in the middle of a serious medical situation, he is in a coma, and his family and friends are with him,” said Constellation Records’ Don Wilkie in a statement. “We have no comment right now on the specifics other than that his doctors are continuing to assess his condition. We will issue a full statement at an appropriate time. In the interim, we request that everybody respect Vic’s privacy and that of his family.”

According to friend Kristin Hersh, the cause is believed to be a suicide attempt.

“Yeah, I can tell you what I know but no one knows much: another suicide attempt, looks bad, coma — if he survives, there may be brain damage,” Hersh wrote on her Twitter. An hour later, she added, “This time, it’s real scary: *this* time, he left a note, *this* time, he asked them to call me.”

The 45-year-old Chesnutt has been a paraplegic since the age of 18 and recently had been strugglingly to pay health bills. He told Spinner earlier this year that “right now, I am in huge trouble in that the hospital is suing me for $35,000 for payment, which is terrifying — and the rub is that I have health insurance.”

Chesnutt spent much of the latter part of the year touring in support of two new studio albums, At the Cut and Skitter on Take-Off. His resume also includes collaborations with the likes of R.E.M., Widespread Panic, Lambchop, Calexico, The Jayhawks, Fugazi, and, most recently, Elf Power.