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Mojo Nixon Dies On Outlaw Country Cruise: Musician, Actor & Radio DJ Was 66

Mojo Nixon, a musician, actor and radio DJ who became a comedy icon for such songs as “Don Henley Must Die,” “Elvis Is Everywhere” and “Stuffin’ Martha’s Muffin, died today at 66 of what was termed “a cardiac event.”

His family confirmed the death to Rolling Stone. Nixon was aboard the Outlaw Country Cruise, an annual music cruise where he was a co-host and regular performer.

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“August 2, 1957 — February 7, 2024 Mojo Nixon. How you live is how you should die. Mojo Nixon was full-tilt, wide-open rock hard, root hog, corner on two wheels + on fire…,” his family shared in a statement to Rolling Stone. “Passing after a blazing show, a raging night, closing the bar, taking no prisoners + a good breakfast with bandmates and friends.

“A cardiac event on the Outlaw Country Cruise is about right… & that’s just how he did it, Mojo has left the building,” his family’s statement continued. “Since Elvis is everywhere, we know he was waiting for him in the alley out back. Heaven help us all.”

Nixon and his former partner, gutbucket specialist Skid Roper, scored a hit in 1987 with their novelty song “Elvis Is Everywhere.” Its low-budget video became an MTV staple.

Nixon and Roper recorded six albums together during the 1980s, two of which — Bo-Day-Shus!! (1987) and Root Hog or Die (1989) — dented the Billboard 200 chart. Nixon then started his solo career. He also worked as an actor and radio DJ, eventually becoming a regular presence on SiriusXM’s Outlaw Country channel in the mid-2000s, known as “The Loon in the Afternoon.”

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Nixon was born Neill Kirby McMillan Jr. August 2, 1957, in Chapel Hill, NC, but grew up in Danville, VA.

After graduating college in the late 1970s, Nixon briefly moved to London for its punk scene. He returned to the states, first to Denver and then San Diego, where he would make his name.

In 1983, Nixon and Roper teamed, releasing their self-titled debut in 1985. They toured relentlessly and built a following with songs like “Jesus at McDonald’s,” “I Hate Banks” and “Stuffin’ Martha’s Muffin,” the latter an ode about MTV VJ Martha Quinn.

Their breakthrough was with “Elvis Is Everywhere,” which led the nascent video-music channel to use Nixon to film promo spots. Soon, they were appearing on The Arsenio Hall Show and getting Wynona Ryder to star in the video for “Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant With My Two-Headed Love Child.” MTV refused to play it.

Nixon’s split with Roper led to collaborations with Country Dick Montana and X’s John Doe. His album Otis was fueled by the song “Don Henley Must Die” and reached No. 20 on the Modern Rock Charts. Henley was a good sport about it, performing it live with Nixon in 1992.

Nixon’s first acting role was the 1989 Jerry Lee Lewis biopic, Great Balls of Fire, in which he played drummer James Van Eaton. His other credits included the 1993 live-action Super Mario Bros. and the comedy Car 54, Where Are You?. He later was a DJ in Cincinnati and San Diego, before moving on to pre-merger XM Satellite Radio in the early 2000s.

Nixon issued an album of previously unreleased tracks, Whiskey Rebellion, in 2009. And a documentary, The Mojo Manifesto: The Life and Times of Mojo Nixon, had its premiere at SXSW 2022 before getting a wide release last year.

No information on survivors was immediately available.

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