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Ex-Wilco member Jay Bennett’s died of an accidental overdose from the pain killer fentanyl, authorities have determined. Bennett died on May 24 in his home in Urbana, Illinois. He was 45. As a co-writer, producer and instrumentalist, Bennett was an integral part of Wilco from 1994 to 2001.
Fentanyl is used to treat chronic pain. Shortly before his death, Bennett blogged about his need for hip surgery, stating that he lacked health insurance to cover the operation. Earlier in May, he filed a lawsuit against Wilco founder Jeff Tweedy, claiming he was due money from royalties.
Bennett will be sorely missed. Here’s an illuminating article from Art Voice, featuring a 2002 interview that’s well worth a read.