On this date in 2001 lead singer of Big Country, Stuart Adamson, committed suicide a month after disappearing from his home. His body was found in a closet in his room at the Best Western Plaza Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The 43-year Scottish guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter had fought a long battle against alcoholism. Adamson had been due to face drunk-driving charges in March 2002 and had been ordered to attend Alcoholics Anonymous.
Adamson founded Scottish punk rock/new wave band, Skids, in 1977. Their early 1978’s Charles EP brought them to the attention of DJ John Peel. This led to a local gig supporting The Clash. Virgin Records then signed up Skids in April 1978. Their debut album Scared to Dance was released in February 1979. The single “Into the Valley”, achieved great success at a national level, reached the UK Top 10 singles chart. While the third single “The Saints are Coming” became an international hit when it was covered for charitable purposes in 2006 by U2 and Green Day.
Adamson left Skids in 1980, came to greater international prominence with Big Country.
Big Country’s debut album, The Crossing, released in July 1983, was a big hit in the United States powered by the single “In a Big Country”, which was performed on Saturday Night Live and the Grammy Awards. The video for “In a Big Country” received frequent airplay on MTV.
In the 1990s Adamason founded alternative country rock act The Raphaels. He was once described by DJ John Peel as “the new Jimi Hendrix”.