Beloved alternative artist, Daniel Johnston, has passed away aged 58. 

According to The Austin Chronicle and confirmed by his former manager Jeff Tartakov, Johnston died of a heart attack.

"The Johnston family is deeply saddened to announce the death of their brother, Daniel Johnston," an additional statement from the Hi, How Are You Project read.

The Hi, How Are You Project is a non-profit organisation inspired by Johnston's sixth, self-released cassette, Hi, How Are You: The Unfinished Album (1983), its happy frog artwork popularised by a shirt worn by Kurt Cobain. The organisation aims to inspire new conversations around mental health issues.

"He passed away from natural causes this morning at his home outside of Houston, Texas," the statement continued. 

"Daniel was a singer, songwriter, an artist, and a friend to all. Although he struggled with mental health issues for much of his adult life, Daniel triumphed over his illness through his prolific output of art and songs. He inspired countless fans, artists, and songwriters with his message that no matter how dark the day that 'true love will find you in the end'."

"I am so saddened by the news of Daniel's passing," shared Tom Gimbel, Hi, How Are You Project co-founder. 

"It has been the greatest honour and privilege of my professional life to work with Daniel Johnston - someone who I consider to be one of the greatest songwriting geniuses of our time. In our time together Daniel was more than an artist; he was a friend, he was family. I will miss him greatly but will smile every time I hear his songs."

Born in 1961, Johnston's eccentricity and the purity of his folk songs captured the hearts of big names including Cobain, Jeff Tweedy and Tom Waits, Cobain once describing him as the "greatest songwriter of all time". Although he never received commercial success, a prolific songwriter, Johnston released 17 studio albums. He retired from live performance in 2017. 

Struggling with mental health issues for the majority of his life, Johnston was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. A documentary about his life, The Devil And Daniel Johnston, was released in 2006 and proceeded to win the Director's Award at the Sundance Film Festival.

Johnston's brother Dick told Rolling Stone, “There are as many unpublished songs as there are published.

"We’ll be spending a long time sorting out what he’s left behind. We have lots more to share.”