‘Elliott was one of the best songwriters of our day and a formidable musician.’ – Beck ‘There’s an undercurrent of real sadness in a lot of his music … and that’s just really the way he was.’ – Steve Drozd, Flaming Lips ‘I’m the wrong kind of person to be really big and famous.’ – Elliott Smith, speaking in 1997 In 2003, Steven ‘Elliott’ Smith died from two stab wounds to the heart. To this day, the autopsy evidence remains inconclusive as to whether the wounds were self-inflicted or the result of homicide. Either way, this tragic end to Elliott’s short-lived though prodigiously talented life became the dark denouement of a story riddled with depression, mental illness, addiction and chronic substance abuse. Yet it is also a story of worldwide critical acclaim, of Oscar nominations and of some of the finest recorded music of the late twentieth century. Now, two decades after Elliott’s death, Shooting Star seeks to encapsulate the many complexities of this shy, funny, engaging, enigmatic musician and his desperately troubled soul. With contributions from those closest to Elliott who have not previously spoken about their friend, this masterful biography places the singer-songwriter’s vulnerabilities and decline within the broader context of all that he achieved: the sheer, stark beauty of the records he made and the resounding impact they went on to have across a whole spectrum of contemporary music. This is the definitive account of Elliott Smith – a once-in-a-generation artist.