Smith also composed a handful of new songs for the soundtrack, among them "Miss Misery," and when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its Oscar nominations the following February, the track was a surprise entry in the Best Original Song category. Although he did not win, Smith performed the song live at the televised Oscar broadcast, appearing on-stage alongside superstars Trisha Yearwood
and Celine Dion
in a notably surreal musical moment. Smith's DreamWorks
label debut, XO, followed later in 1998. Two years later he delivered Figure 8, which delved further into lush arrangements and orchestrations. For the next two years, Smith labored over what was to be his next album, From a Basement on a Hill. He would not live to see the album's completion, however.
To the shock of friends and fans alike, Smith's body was found on October 21, 2003, with two stab wounds in his chest. To date, the coroner has been unable to determine whether he committed suicide or was murdered, and the Los Angeles Police Department's investigation remains open. From a Basement on a Hill was released one year later, just two days shy of the first anniversary of his death, and received warm critical nods. In 2007, the Kill Rock Stars
label issued a two-disc set of Smith's unreleased work, all of which had been recorded between 1994 and 1997. Entitled New Moon, the 24-track collection contained three songs that had been previously released on hard to find compilations or soundtracks, including an early version of "Miss Misery" and a cover of Big Star
's "Thirteen." A career compilation titled An Introduction to Elliott Smith showed up in 2010, and in 2015, Smith was the subject of a documentary called Heaven Adores You; the soundtrack to the film showed up in 2016. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi