Upon the release of his new album Javelin, singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens wrote a heartfelt tribute to his late partner.
On Friday (Oct. 6), Stevens shared a rare message about his personal life in a post to his Instagram account. The singer dedicated his new album to his late partner, Evans Richardson IV, whom he described as “the light of my life, my beloved partner and best friend.” Richardson passed away in April.
“He was an absolute gem of a person, full of life, love, laughter, curiosity, integrity, and joy,” Stevens wrote in his post. “He was one of those rare and beautiful ones you find only once in a lifetime — precious, impeccable, and absolutely exceptional in every way.”
Richardson served as the chief of staff at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and as the chair of the American Alliance of Museums’ Accreditation Commission. While Stevens did not directly address his partner’s death in April, one of his close collaborators Nico Muhly shared a memorial post on his Instagram in May, saying, “There are no words to express adequately the depth of our loss and our gratitude for his life.”
Continuing his post, Stevens urged his followers to chase the kind of relationship he and Richardson shared during their time together. “I know relationships can be very difficult sometimes, but it’s always worth it to put in the hard work and care for the ones you love, especially the beautiful ones, who are few and far between,” he wrote. “If you happen to find that kind of love, hold it close, hold it tight, savor it, tend to it, and give it everything you’ve got, especially in times of trouble. Be kind, be strong, be patient, be forgiving, be vigorous, be wise, and be yourself.”
Stevens closed out his post by quoting the oft-cited Bible verse Psalm 118:24: “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Since the outset of his career, Stevens has been notoriously tight-lipped about his personal life, only sharing occasional glimpses into his relationships. Over the last year, though, the singer opened up to his fans about being diagnosed with Guillian-Barré syndrome, a rare autoimmune disorder in which “your body’s immune system attacks your nerves,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
Read Stevens’ full post below:
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