Stuart Adamson, lead singer and guitarist for Scottish rock band Big Country, was found dead in a hotel room in Hawaii on December 16th; he was forty-three. A cause of death has not yet been determined.
Adamson, who reportedly fought a lengthy battle with alcoholism, disappeared on November 7th, after which he made no contact with his manager or family. A sighting was reported in Atlanta on November 15th, but Adamson was not seen again until his body was found on Sunday.
“I cannot believe I am sitting at my desk typing this,” Big Country manager Ian Grant wrote on the Web site for his label, Track Records. “Stuart Adamson was found dead in a hotel room in Hawaii. I have no more news other than that at present. I have just lost one of the finest people I have ever worked with or been lucky enough to know.”
Adamson was born on April 11, 1958 in Manchester, England. He co-founded Seventies punk ensemble, the Skids, and played on the band’s first three albums before departing in 1981 to start Big Country. The group released their first album, the Steve Lillywhite-produced The Crossing in 1983. The album yielded several U.K. hits and crossed the Atlantic successfully behind the Top Twenty single, “In a Big Country.” The album was certified Gold in the U.S. and went on to sell more than 3 million copies worldwide, as well as earning the group a pair of Grammy nominations.
The group continued to record through the Eighties and into the Nineties, releasing their seventh album, Why the Long Face, in 1995. Shortly after that album’s release, Adamson took a break from the band, relocating to Nashville. Big Country got back together to record 1999’s Driving to Damascus. In November of that year, Adamson went missing, causing the band to miss some promotional appearances on British television and a tour with Bryan Adams. Big Country then played a series of European tour dates before again going on hiatus.
While away from Big Country, Adamson began working in Nashville with a new band called the Raphaels. The group’s debut album, Supernatural, was released in August. “Stuart was a good man who experienced breathtaking highs and desperate lows,” said Raphaels band mate Marcus Hummon. “I also know that he was deeply troubled, as it turns out, beyond my reach. It was an honor to make music with such a great Scottish artist, and to be his friend. I miss him.”