Remembering Black Keys and Shins artist Richard Swift

richard swift the shins dies
Kevin Winter / Staff / Getty


Shins and Black Keys musician Richard Swift died Tuesday at the age of 41. The producer, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist also released music as a solo artist in his two-decade career.

The official cause of death has not been revealed; however, Swift was hospitalized in late June due to a life-threatening condition. He didn’t have insurance, so a GoFundMe was set up to help with his expenses. The campaign has now been converted into a memorial fund and raised nearly $98,000 of a $200,000 target so far.

Swift was considered a “musician’s musician,” uninterested in the spotlight but rather cared for the musical and life experiences the business provided. He also owned and founded a small home studio, National Freedom, in central Oregon.

As a producer, Swift worked with Foxygen, Damien Jurado, the Mynabirds, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, and many more. Swift launched a series of albums and EPs of his own beginning in 2005, releasing his last solo record The Atlantic Ocean in 2009. He was a member of the Shins from 2011 to 2016, toured as a bassist and backup singer with the Black Keys in 2014, and played drums for the Arcs.

Many were saddened by the death of this beloved musician, including plenty of his past collaborators. We join them in appreciating the life of an incredible artist.

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