Page last updated at 15:22 GMT, Sunday, 7 March 2010

Sparklehorse singer Mark Linkous 'takes his own life'

Mark Linkous
Mark Linkous 'died' for two minutes in 1996 after taking a cocktail of drugs

Rock singer Mark Linkous, frontman with US band Sparklehorse, has killed himself, according to a statement from his family to Rolling Stone magazine.

"It is with great sadness that we share the news that our dear friend and family member Mark Linkous took his own life today," the family said.

His four acclaimed Sparklehorse albums led him to be regarded by many as a hero of the US alternative rock scene.

His work included collaborations with Tom Waits, PJ Harvey and Danger Mouse.

His family said in the statement: "We are thankful for his time with us and will hold him forever in our hearts. May his journey be peaceful, happy and free. There's a heaven and there's a star for you."

Virginia-born singer-songwriter Linkous - thought to be in his 40s - released the first Sparklehorse album Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot in 1995.

The following year, he "died" for two minutes after ingesting a dangerous mix of Valium and antidepressants while supporting Radiohead on tour in the UK.

He recovered, but the incident almost left him paralysed - after lying unconscious for 14 hours, with circulation to his legs cut off.

He suffered a heart attack when doctors tried to straighten the limbs, and he had surgery seven times to save his legs.

But despite that ordeal, he went on to record 1999's Good Morning Spider, 2001's It's A Wonderful Life and 2006's Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain.

Linkous was working on a new Sparklehorse album, which was due to be released by the Anti- record label.

In 2009, Linkous's multimedia collaboration album with producer Danger Mouse - real name Brian Burton - and the director David Lynch, entitled Dark Night Of The Soul, was made available online ahead of its official release this summer.

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