“The record is called ‘J.T.’ because Justin was never called anything else until he was nearly grown. Well, when he was little, I called him Cowboy,” Earle told Saving Country Music. “For better or worse, right or wrong, I loved Justin Townes Earle more than anything else on this earth. That being said, I made this record, like every other record I’ve ever made… for me. It was the only way I knew to say goodbye.”
The album “J.T.” will be released digitally on Jan. 4, 2021, to celebrate what would have been Justin’s 39th birthday. Additionally, Earle will release the album on CD and vinyl two months later on March 19. The album will be composed of 10 songs written by Justin before his death. Additionally, Steve wrote a new song that pays tribute to his late son’s legacy. The CD will also feature Earle’s band The Dukes.
The proceeds and royalties from the album will go to Earle’s granddaughter Etta St. James. Etta was born in 2017 to Justin and his wife Jenn. The couple was married from 2013 until Justin’s death in August.
Justin Townes Earle Passed Away in August
Justin Townes Earle was a musician and songwriter in his own right. Over the course of his career, he released eight albums and an EP. In 2009, he won the American Music Award for Emerging Artist of the Year. Two years later, he won Song of the Year in 2011 for “Harlem River Blues.”
Emergency first responders discovered Earl unresponsive in his Nashville apartment. Police labeled his death “unclassified,” but later determined it may be related to a “probable drug overdose.” Another suspected cause of death is pneumonia. Several people close to Earle said he had been hospitalized with the illness and had surgery. The musician was still recovering at the time of his death.
According to the Davidson County Medical Examiner, “The case is still pending additional studies. The doctor has not established a cause of death as of now.”