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 Monday, 17 December, 2001, 15:02 GMT
Adamson: Scotland's guitar hero
Big Country
Stuart Adamson (second from left) with Big Country
BBC News Online profiles rock singer and guitarist Stuart Adamson who has been found dead in Hawaii at the age of 43.

Stuart Adamson fronted one of the most successful bands of the 1980s.

Born in Manchester, he grew up in Crossgates, near Dunfermline, in Fife.

With singer Richard Jobson - now a journalist and television presenter - he formed the new wave group the Skids in the 1970s.

It was with the Skids that Adamson first tasted success, with the singles Into the Valley, Masquerade, Charade and Working for the Yankee Dollar.

After the Skids split, Adamson founded Big Country with fellow guitarist Bruce Watson in 1981.

The band were noted for their raw, passionate sound - Adamson's guitar had an insistent quality not unlike that of bagpipes.

He added an instantly recognisable and distinctively Caledonian twist to Big Country's traditional rock sound.

Stuart Adamson
Stuart Adamson fought a long battle with drink

Big Country had a string of hits, including Fields of Fire, Chance, In a Big Country and East of Eden.

Their debut album, 1983's The Crossing, established the Scottish group in the US.

Their subsequent four albums, Steeltown (1984), The Seer (1985), Peace In Our Time (1986) and No Place Like Home (1988) went gold on release and took the bands total record sales to more than10 million.

Big Country sang at one of the signature musical events of the 1980s - the Live Aid concert at Wembley, in 1985.

They continued recording and touring well into the 1990s, supporting Bob Dylan and veterans of Led Zeppelin Robert Plant and Jimmy Page.

In 1998, the band opened for the Rolling Stones at 18 European dates.

In May 1999, Big Country headlined the Scotland for Kosovo concert in Glasgow, joined by Eddi Reader, Teenage Fanclub, Gun, Simple Minds and Midge Ure.

The event was deemed a success, and they went on to play in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, as part of a multinational all-star bill brought together by actress Vanessa Redgrave.

Big Country split last year, and Adamson went on to form another group, the Raphaels.

He had lived in Nashville for the past five years, and was married.

He had fought a long battle with alcoholism, and was found dead after going missing for the second time in two years.

See also:

09 Dec 01 | Scotland
29 Nov 99 | Entertainment
17 Dec 01 | Music
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