Sufjan Stevens comes out with moving album dedication to ‘beloved’ late partner

Sufjan Stevens wears a pink and black striped suit jacket as he plays the guitar and sings into a microphone on stage

Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens has seemingly come out in a moving Instagram post, dedicating his new album Javelin to his late partner, Evans Richardson.

Stevens has kept a good chunk of his personal life and relationships offline for the majority of his acclaimed, decades-long career. 

But on Friday (6 October), the “Fourth of July” singer offered fans a brief glimpse into his private life when his latest album dropped. Stevens revealed that the inspiration behind Javelin was the loss of his partner Evans Richardson, who died in April. 

Stevens described Richardson as the “light of [his] life”, his “beloved partner” and “best friend”. 

“He was an absolute gem of a person, full of life, love, laughter, curiosity, integrity and joy,” Stevens wrote. 

“He was one of those rare and beautiful ones you find only once in a lifetime – precious, impeccable and absolutely exceptional in every way.

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“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. 

“If you happen to find that kind of love, hold it close, hold it tight, savour 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. 

“Live every day as if it is your last, with fullness and grace, with reverence and love, with gratitude and joy.”

Sufjan Stevens is known for his delicate musical arrangements and poetic, emotive lyrics. His 2005 album Illinois is getting a musical theatre adaptation perfect for queers who crave the melancholic feels.

Javelin is Stevens’ first solo album in three years, since 2020’s The Ascension.

In September, the Oscar-nominated musician told fans he’d been diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome – a rare and serious nerve condition – after he “woke up one morning and couldn’t walk”

Posting a selfie from the hospital, Stevens wrote on Instagram that he woke up about a month ago to find his “hands, arms and legs were numb”. The indie musician added he had “no strength, no feeling, no mobility”. 

So he rushed to the hospital for tests before receiving a Guillain-Barre syndrome diagnosis. 

“Luckily there’s treatment for this – [doctors] administer immuno-haemoglobin infusions for five days and pray that the disease doesn’t spread to the lungs, heart and brain,” Stevens added. 

“Very scary, but it worked. I spent about two weeks in Med/Surg, stuck in a bed, while my doctors did all the things to keep me alive and stabilise my condition. I owe them my life.”

Sufjan Stevens’ new album, Javelin, is out now.

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