Musician, songwriter, and visual artist Daniel Johnston passed away in his Texas home at the age of 58. Johnston has a huge cult following and has even been the inspiration for a number of famous musicians.

Johnston was not noted for his mainstream success. His voice had a distinct high tenor which is rarely seen among mainstream singers. However, his songwriting talent coupled with the emotions in his voice made fans fall in love with his songs. His songs were no-frills, purely emotional pieces. Between 1981-2012 Johnston released 20 studio albums. Some of the studio albums were self-released.

Though Johnston was born in California and raised in West Virginia, his music career began when he moved to Texas. When he started writing and singing his own songs, he used to record the songs at home and make copies of the cassettes. Locally he had become popular for his performances as well as for randomly handing out cassette tapes.

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Daniel Johnston on stage. Paul Hudson/

The nation took notice of Johnston when Music Television (MTV) programme "Cutting Edge" featured him along with other performers in Austin, Texas. After the 1985 feature on the MTV show, Johnston had his first professional recording experience in 1990 in New York. His album, "The Late Great Daniel Johnston: Discovered Covered" featured two discs. One disc had him singing his original songs. The other disc had musicians and groups, like Death Cab for Cutie, covering his songs.

Johnston created the artwork for most of his album covers. Austin City even requested Johnston to turn the cover of his "Hi, How are you" album into a mural. "Space Ducks – An Infinite Comic Book of Musical Greatness," was his first comic book, published by BOOM! Studios. Clothing and skateboard company, Supreme, has also used Johnston's artwork for various collections. According to BBC, Johnston's magic marker artwork style inspired Matt Groening's The Simpsons design.

In his journal, grunge icon Kurt Cobain wrote that his favourite album was Johnston's "Yip/Jump Music." Cobain also called him "the best songwriter on earth" and wore a T-shirt with his artwork to the 1992 MTV awards. Singer Lana Del Rey and rapper Mac Miller contributed funds towards the production of the short biopic "The Devil and Daniel Johnston." Jeff Feuerzeig received the Director's Award at Sundance Film Festival for the biographical documentary.

Even though constant mainstream attention did not fall on Johnston, the music fraternity covered his songs and appreciated his talent. Johnston suffered from bipolar disorder as well as schizophrenia. When he did start getting mainstream attention in the late '80s his mental health deteriorated. After performing at a major music festival, he had an episode where he caused a plane crash. His father had been flying the small aircraft, and both escaped the crash with minor injuries.

Johnston spent a number of years trying to better his mental health. His brother and manager, Dick Johnston, told the New York Times that the hospital had released the musician after treating some kidney issues. Johnston died of "natural causes" according to his family, who have not specified the cause.

The music fraternity took to social media to express their grief. Even if someone has not heard his music or seen his artwork, they have heard the music of musicians who have been inspired by Johnston.