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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, December 18, 2001

Death of rocker Adamson likely suicide, official says

By Vicki Viotti
Advertiser Staff Writer

All evidence so far points to a suicide in the death of Scottish rock musician Stuart Adamson, who on Sunday was found hanging from a rope in his hotel room near Honolulu International Airport.

Stuart Adamson arrived in Hawai'i Dec. 4 and was found hanged Dec. 16.

Advertiser file photo

However, detectives are still tracking his movements since arriving here Dec. 4, said Lt. Bill Kato, HPD homicide investigator.

Jimmy Annino, an investigator with the city medical examiner's office, yesterday confirmed the identity of Adamson, guitarist and lead singer with the 1980s Scottish rock band Big Country.

The cause of death was established as asphyxiation from hanging, Annino said, although he said the office is running toxicology tests to determine the presence of any drugs.

Police were called about 1 p.m. to the Best Western Plaza Hotel at 3253 N. Nimitz Highway, where Adamson was found alone on the floor of his hotel room closet. He was in a seated position, the rope tied to his neck and to the closet pole, Kato said.

Adamson was reported missing in early December by his estranged wife, Melanie Shelley, according to the British Broadcasting Corp.

The BBC also quoted his ex-wife, Sandra Adamson, confirming that the rock singer was due to appear in a U.S. court on drunken driving charges.

He lived in Nashville.

British rock-watchers are speculating that Adamson had been depressed over the breakup of his marriage.

Plaza Hotel managers declined comment on the case yesterday.

Adamson founded Big Country in 1981, and the band became best known internationally for its single "In a Big Country."

Early career highlights include an appearance on "Saturday Night Live" in 1983 and a nomination for two Grammy awards — for best new group and best single — in 1984.

Big Country released eight albums, the most recent being "Driving To Damascus" in 1999.

The group broke up last year. Stuart started a new group, The Raphaels, with Nashville country artist Marcus Hummon. The Raphaels' debut album, "Supernatural," was released earlier this year.