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SUICIDE STAR'S MERCY FLIGHT; EXCLUSIVE.

Byline: FRANK HURLEY

MILLIONAIRE airline boss Sir Richard Branson has stepped in to help the family of Big Country star Stuart Adamson bring his body home to Scotland.

Sir Richard is sparing Stuart's parents the agony of having to make complicated arrangements to get the dead singer back from Hawaii to the family home in Dunfermline, Fife.

Adamson hanged himself in a Hawaii hotel room on Monday, five weeks after vanishing from his home in Nashville, Tennessee.

Its believed the 43-year-old dad-of-two was deeply depressed after his boozing caused the break-up of his second marriage.

Virgin boss Sir Richard moved in to help the family after building a close friendship with Adamson over nearly 20 years in the music business.

He originally signed up the singer's first band - the Skids - when Stuart was a teenager.

And Adamson's Big Country group were with Virgin Music Publishing for their entire career.

Former Big Country manager Ian Grant, who is arranging a memorial service in January at the soccer club Adamson loved - Dunfermline FC - praised Sir Richard's intervention.

He said: "Sir Richard has been involved with Stuart and his music for many years so this is a typical and very appropriate, kind gesture."

Relatives of the former Big Country star have insisted on a private family-only funeral in Dunfermline.

His parents broke their silence over the tragedy yesterday and issued a statement, saying: "To say we are devastated doesn't describe how we feel.

"We just pray Stuart has found the peace he was looking for.

"We are very grateful for the many messages of sympathy we have received and we know Stuart would have been overwhelmed."

CAPTION(S):

TRAGIC: Adamson
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 21, 2001
Words:277
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