Hatfield Had Cocaine in System

Righteous Brother's heart attack triggered by drugs

January 6, 2004 12:00 AM ET

Bobby Hatfield's death was triggered by acute cocaine intoxication, according to the chief medical examiner for Kalamazoo County, Michigan, where the singer died in a hotel room on November 5th.

Hatfield, 63, was found dead just hours prior to a scheduled performance with Bill Medley, with whom he recorded and performed for more than four decades as the Righteous Brothers. An initial examination of Hatfield's body listed a heart attack, caused by advanced coronary disease, as the cause of death. But according to Dr. Richard Tooker, the official cause of death couldn't be determined until the results of the toxicology report were received. Tooker received the report on December 24th, but initially withheld the information out of respect for Hatfield's family during the holidays. Tooker spoke this week with the Kalamazoo Gazette and revealed his findings.

Medley, with whom Hatfield recorded eleven Top Forty singles (including two Number Ones), told the press that the results of the report "were a shock to me," and claimed that he had never known Hatfield to have any problems with drug abuse.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“You Oughta Know”

Alanis Morissette | 1995

This blunt, bitter breakup song -- famous for its line "Would she go down on you in a theater?" -- was long rumored to be about Alanis Morissette getting dumped by Full House actor Dave Coulier. But while she never confirmed it was about him (Coulier himself says it is, however), she insisted the song wasn't all about scorn. "By no means is this record just a sexual, angry record," she told Rolling Stone. "The song wasn't written for the sake of revenge. It was written for the sake of release. I'm actually a pretty rational, calm person."

More Song Stories entries »