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Suicide rock star died drunk

stuart adamson
Adamson formed The Skids but hit the big time with Big Country.  

HONOLULU, Hawaii -- Scottish rock musician Stuart Adamson had a blood-alcohol level three times the legal drink-drive limit when he was found hanged in Hawaii last month, a post mortem has revealed.

The former Big Country lead singer's death was ruled as suicide.

The Honolulu Medical Examiner's office said Adamson, 43, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.279. The legal limit to drive in Hawaii is 0.08.

Adamson's body was found in his hotel room near Honolulu airport on December 16.

A post mortem determined the British-born 1980s star's cause of death was asphyxia due to hanging, according to the coroner's office.

Adamson's estranged wife, Melanie Shelley, reported the singer missing from his Nashville, Tennessee, home on November 26. Nashville police suspected marital troubles prompted his disappearance.

Adamson was born in Manchester, England, and grew up near Dunfermline, Scotland.

He had played with the Scottish New Wave group the Skids before he formed Big Country in 1981. He played guitar and was lead singer. Fellow guitarist Bruce Watson, bassist Tony Butler and drummer Mark Brzezicki completed the quartet.

They had a minor hit in Britain with "Harvest Home" before making their names with the international hits "Fields of Fire" and "In a Big Country," both from the album "The Crossing" in 1983. In all they made eight successful albums.

Big Country split last year and Adamson went on to form another group, The Raphaels.

He had relocated to Nashville around 1997 and remained active, including a collaboration with Nashville singer-songwriter Marcus Hummon.

At the time of his death Ian Grant, Adamson's manager, said: "He was a great guy and, I know there will be a lot of people who will feel the same way."


• Big Country star laid to rest
December 30, 2001
• Big Country star found hanged
December 18, 2001
• Concern for missing singer
December 9, 2001

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