Justin Townes Earle (January 4, 1982 – August 23, 2020) was an American singer-songwriter and musician. He was a son of alternative country artist Steve Earle and was named after Townes Van Zandt.
Justin Townes Earle, born January 4, 1982 in Nashville, TN, was an American alt-country singer-songwriter who walked the line between old-time country and modern acoustic Indie music by breathing new life into early country, blues and gospel forms.
His first release, Yuma, in 2007 was a stark and beautiful set of songs written while Earle was fresh out of rehab and is now re-released by Bloodshot Records, who have a further three albums on their catalogue.
The Good Life, Midnight At the Movies (Americana award nominee) and the latest Harlem River Blues show Earle's characteristic charm, wit and rhythm to the forefront.
2009 saw him touring with Old Crow Medicine Show, The Felice Brothers and Gillian Welch/Dave Rawlings as a member of The Big Surprise tour and he has been touring solidly through 2010 making fans all along the way. In 2011, he received the Americana Music Award in the Song of the Year category for his "Harlem River Blues," from the album of the same name.
His fourth release "Nothing's Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now", released in 2012 was met with critical acclaim, it was listed at #37 on Rolling Stone's list of the top 50 albums of 2012, saying "The son of country-rock renegade Steve Earle has grown into a songwriter to rival his dad."
Earle died on August 20, 2020, in Nashville, Tennessee, at the age of 38. His death was announced by his label on social media on August 23. The cause of death was not immediately announced, but Nashville police said they were investigating the death as a probable drug overdose. On December 1, 2020, Earle's family confirmed that he died from an accidental overdose of fentanyl-laced cocaine.