Report: Singer had highlevel of alcohol in blood
HONOLULU -- Stuart Adamson, lead singer and guitarist for the Scottish rock band Big Country, had a high blood-alcohol level in his system when he committed suicide in a Honolulu hotel last month, according to city coroners.
The medical examiner's office determined Adamson, 43, had a blood-alcohol content of 0.279 percent when he was found dead Dec. 16 in his hotel room near the Honolulu International Airport. The legal limit to drive in Hawaii is 0.08.
An autopsy determined the British-born Adamson's cause of death was asphyxia as a result of hanging, according to the office.
Adamson's estranged wife, Melanie Shelley, reported the singer missing from his Nashville, Tenn., home Nov. 26. Nashville police suspected marital troubles prompted his disappearance.
Adamson had played with the Scottish New Wave group the Skids before he formed Big Country in 1981. He played guitar and sang lead; fellow guitarist Bruce Watson, bassist Tony Butler and drummer Mark Brzezicki completed the quartet.
They had a minor hit in Britain with "Harvest Home" before making their names with the international hits "Fields of Fire" and "In a Big Country," both from the album "The Crossing" in 1983.
Adamson relocated to Nashville around 1997 and remained active, including a collaboration with Nashville singer-songwriter Marcus Hummon.
University to honorLoretta Lynn withhonorary doctorate
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The Coal Miner's Daughter soon will receive a new moniker -- Dr. Loretta Lynn.
The University of Kentucky's board of trustees has approved an honorary doctorate for the 66-year-old country singer and Johnson County, Ky., native.
Lynn will receive the honorary doctorate in arts at a ceremony during the Society for American Music's 28th annual meeting March 6-10 on the university's Lexington campus.
Her autobiography, "Coal Miner's Daughter," prominently featured her hometown of Butcher Hollow. The best-selling book later was made into a 1980 feature film of the same name starring Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones. Spacek won an Oscar for her role in that film.
Lynn grew up in poverty in Kentucky and gave birth at 14 to the first of her six children.
She has sustained a 40-year career with hits such as "Coal Miner's Daughter," "Don't Come Home A'Drinkin' [With Lovin' on Your Mind]" and "You Ain't Woman Enough."
I smoke pot every day, Altman admits
Now that America-bashing "Gosford Park" director Robert Altman has proclaimed he would rather live in Britain than here, Prince Charles might want to keep him away from his 17-year-old son Prince Harry, who fessed up recently to some Clintonesque inhaling. The 76-year-old Altman admits that he smokes pot daily.
"I stopped drinking because of my heart," he tells Britain's Telegraph. "At the end of the day you want to have a laugh and sit down and smoke a joint, which I do every day of my life."
Altman, who snagged a Golden Globe award for "Gosford Park," made his true feelings about the United States clear to the Times of London.
"When I see an American flag flying, it's a joke," he rants. "This present government in America I just find disgusting, the idea that George Bush could run a baseball team successfully -- he can't even speak! I just find him an embarrassment.
"I'd be very happy to stay in London. There's nothing in America that I would miss at all."
Maybe he's just bitter that the Directors Guild of America, whose winner usually goes on to win the Oscar, snubbed him. Its five nominees for best director are Ron Howard ("A Beautiful Mind"), Peter Jackson ("The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring"), Baz Luhrmann ("Moulin Rouge"), Christopher Nolan ("Memento") and Ridley Scott ("Black Hawk Down"). The winner will be named March 9. The Oscars are March 24.
Musical conductor Skitch Henderson is 84. Singer Bobby "Blue" Bland is 72. Actor James Cromwell is 62. Actor John Witherspoon is 60. Rock musician Nick Mason (Pink Floyd) is 57. Rhythm-and-blues singer Nedra Talley (The Ronettes) is 56. Ballet star Mikhail Baryshnikov is 54. Country singer Cheryl White is 47. Country singer-musician Richard Young (The Kentucky Headhunters) is 47. Actress Mimi Rogers is 46. Rock singer Margo Timmons (Cowboy Junkies) is 41. Rock musician Gillian Gilbert (New Order) is 41. Actress Bridget Fonda is 38. Actor Alan Cumming is 37. Country singer Tracy Lawrence is 34. Rock singer Mike Patton is 34. Rock musician Michael Kulas (James) is 33. Rock musician Mark Trojanowski (Sister Hazel) is 32. Actor Josh Randall ("Ed") is 30.