Former Wilco member Jay Bennett died at the age of 45. The guitarist and songwriter, passed away early Sunday morning in downstate Urbana, where the musician was running a recording studio.
"Early this morning, Jay died in his sleep and an autopsy is being performed. The family is in mourning and is unavailable for comment at this time," said Edward Burch, friend and musician who collaborated with Bennett.
Bennett founded the power-pop band Titanic Love Affair before joining Wilco, where he contributed to three of the band's albums, including 2002's "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot."
Due to tensions between frontman Jeff Tweedy, as documented in the film "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart," and Bennett later left the band.
Bennett was working on a fifth solo album, "Kicking at the Perfurmed Air."
Anybody that has seen the documentary "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart," probably thinks Jay Bennett was a douche bag but I have always gotten the impression that he got the bad end of the editing stick and he wasn't as bad as they made him out to be. I was in a band for a few years and I can tell you that tensions run pretty hot whilst recording an album so to kick a guy out after contributing so much to what is considered the BEST Wilco album of them all is kinda effed up if you ask me.