Stuart Adamson, lead singer and guitarist of ’80s pop band Big Country, was found dead in a Hawaii hotel room Sunday, according to the band’s manager, Ian Grant.
A Honolulu hotel employee discovered Adamson’s body at approximately 1:15 p.m. local time, according to the police report. On Monday (December 17), the medical examiner determined the cause of death to be asphyxiation due to hanging.
Adamson, 43, inexplicably left his Nashville home November 7, and missing persons reports were filed there and in Atlanta, where he watched a soccer match on November 15, according to reports posted on the Web site of Big Country’s label, Track Records, which is owned and operated by Grant. Adamson struggled with alcoholism, a battle that grew more severe in the last six months, Grant said on the band’s official Web site.
The singer informed his Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor on November 19 that he was going to Clarksville, Tennessee. He never arrived, and that was the last anyone heard from him.
On the cusp of the early ’80s video revolution along with Duran Duran, Men at Work and Wang Chung, Scotland’s Big Country were distinctive for the bagpipe-like guitar lines and melodic jig woven through “Fields of Fire (400 Miles)” and “In a Big Country,” their breakthrough top 20 single off their 1983 debut, The Crossing. In 1985 they performed at the legendary Live Aid benefit concert in London’s Wembley Stadium, as part of a lineup that also featured Sting, Elvis Costello and U2.
Though they would never again achieve the critical and commercial success of their debut, the quartet issued more than two dozen records, including live albums, since the group formed in 1981, upon Adamson’s leaving new wave quartet the Skids. Big Country’s latest effort, Undercover, an LP of cover tunes, was released in May, after the group broke up in 2000 and Adamson formed the Raphaels.
Big Country’s last studio album of original material was 1999’s Driving to Damascus. In all, they sold more than 10 million albums worldwide.