He started out as an indie singer in Portland, but gained more recognition when Gus Van Sant decided to use some of his songs from his 1997 album called "Either/Or" (which is probably his best album). Smith also wrote a song for the movie called "Miss Misery," which earned him an Academy Award nomination. Unfortunately, he lost to Celine Dion (It was the "Titanic" year).
Sadly, Smith took his own life in Fall of 2003 by plunging a knife to his heart. He was 34.
Smith has done 6 albums; "Roman Candle," self-titled album "Elliott Smith," "Either/Or," "XO," "Figure 8" and a posthumous release called "From a Basement on a Hill."