After playing in the rock band Heatmiser for several years, Smith began his solo career in 1994 with releases on the independent record labels Cavity Search and Kill Rock Stars. He eventually signed a major label contract with DreamWorks Records in 1997, for which he recorded two albums. Smith rose to mainstream prominence when his song "Miss Misery", written for the film Good Will Hunting, was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Original Song category in 1997.
Smith battled with depression, alcoholism and drug addiction for years, and these topics would often appear in his lyrics. At age 34, he died from two stab wounds to the chest. The autopsy evidence was inconclusive as to whether the wounds were self-inflicted.
It's such a shame he died. He was like a better version of Conor Oberst.