The Script Guitarist Mark Sheehan Dead at 46
Mark Sheehan, who played lead guitar for the alt-pop group The Script, died Friday after a brief illness. The band announced the news on Facebook, writing, “Much loved husband, father, brother, band mate and friend Mark Sheehan passed away today in hospital after a brief illness. The family and group ask fans to respect their privacy at this tragic time.” Sheehan was 46. A cause of death was not given.
Sheehan missed the band’s U.S. tours in 2021 and 2022. “It’s his story to tell, but yeah, I guess if I could paraphrase, his children needed a father, and his wife needed a husband,” the band’s singer, Danny O’Donoghue, told Sunday World of the guitarist’s absence at the time. He later rejoined the group for some Irish dates. The Script are supposed to open for Pink on a European tour beginning in June.
The guitarist was known for expressive, understated playing that allowed O’Donoghue’s voice to take center stage on pop tracks like “Breakeven (Falling to Pieces),” a 2008 hit that peaked at Number 12 in the U.S. He favored simple phrasing that landed between strumming and single-note melodies, giving the Script deep textures for anthemic choruses on songs like “For the First Time,” “Nothing,” and “Hall of Fame.”
Sheehan grew up in an area of Dublin known as the Liberties, according to Sunday World, and cofounded the band in 2001. Before officially forming the band, the singer and guitarist moved to the U.S. after sensing that Ireland was more interested in rock & roll than hip-hop and R&B, which they planned to pursue. Between 1999 and 2003, they worked with pop and R&B producers like Rodney Jerkins and Teddy Riley, according to a 2009 Rolling Stone profile. After meeting drummer Glenn Power in 2005, Sheehan and O’Donoghue started work on their self-titled debut, which came out in 2008. O’Donoghue has described Sheehan as “the engine of the Script.” Sunday World reports the band has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide.
The guitarist married his wife, Rina — who’d grown up in Texas — when he was 25. The couple had three children together.
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