Police confirm death of Frightened Rabbit singer Scott Hutchison
Tributes pour in for ‘one of Scotland’s most extraordinary songwriters’ who ‘battled bravely with his own issues for many years’
Scott Hutchison, lead singer of the band Frightened Rabbit, who was reported missing by his family. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Police discovered the body at Port Edgar near South Queensferry in Edinburgh at 8.30pm on Thursday.
The Hutchison family said they said they were “utterly devastated with the tragic loss of our beloved Scott”. They said the singer had “battled bravely with his own issues for many years and we are immensely proud of him for being so open with his struggles”.
Hutchison (36) was last seen at 1am on Wednesday when he left the Dakota hotel in South Queensferry. Hutchison had written a series of dowbeat tweets in the hours leading up to his disappearance. “Be so good to everyone you love. It’s not a given. I’m so annoyed that it’s not. I didn’t live by that standard and it kills me. Please, hug your loved ones,” he wrote. A final tweet reads: “I’m away now. Thanks.”
Tributes to the singer poured in as fellow musicians and fans expressed their sadness, including Snow Patrol singer Gary Lightbody, who said Hutchison “wrote with such profound insight into loss and longing”.
In a statement released through Police Scotland, the Hutchison’s family said: “Despite his disappearance, and the recent concerns over his mental health, we had all remained positive and hopeful that he would walk back through the door, having taken some time away to compose himself.
“Scott, like many artists, wore his heart on his sleeve and that was evident in the lyrics of his music and the content of many of his social media posts. He was passionate, articulate and charismatic, as well as being one of the funniest and kindest people we knew. Friends and family would all agree that he had a brilliant sense of humour and was a great person to be around.
“In addition to his musical success, Scott was a wonderful son, brother, uncle and friend. Despite whatever else was going on in his life he always had time for those he cared for. “Depression is a horrendous illness that does not give you any alert or indication as to when it will take hold of you. Scott battled bravely with his own issues for many years and we are immensely proud of him for being so open with his struggles.
“His willingness to discuss these matters in the public domain undoubtedly raised awareness of mental health issues and gave others confidence and belief to discuss their own issues.”
Frightened Rabbit said in a statement on Twitter: “There are no words to describe the overwhelming sadness and pain that comes with the death of our beloved Scott but to know he is no longer suffering brings us some comfort.
“Reading messages of support and hope from those he has helped through his art has helped immensely and we encourage you to continue doing this.
“He will be missed by all of us and his absence will always be felt but he leaves a legacy of hope, kindness and colour that will forever be remembered and shared.
“Rest peacefully Scott. Much love Grant, Billy, Andy and Simon x“
Franz Ferdinand singer Alex Kapranos said the singer’s death was a “terrible loss”.
Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian wrote: “Tragic news about Scott Hutchison. The whole music community in Scotland was praying for a different outcome. “Folks, if you are up against it, having dark thoughts, please tell someone, family, a friend or a doctor. There is always another way, though it might not seem like it.”
Snow Patrol singer Gary Lightbody paid tribute on Instagram to “one of Scotland’s most extraordinary song writers”. “He wrote with such profound insight into loss and longing and listening to his words always made me feel this heady mix of wonder, elation and pain. That pain that also makes you feel someone understands what you’re going through and you don’t feel so alone. “He was willing to hurt in his songs so that the listener hurt less. But when you live on the edge of that pain it can sometimes get to be too much to bear. I just wish he knew what he meant to so many. “Thank you
Scott for every extraordinary song you ever wrote and for the times we shared. Your music brought light to the world and always will. So much love to all your family, band mates and close friends. “I am so deeply sorry for their loss. The world is less today without you Scott.x”
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “Heartbreaking news. My thoughts are with Scott’s family, friends and fans. A remarkable and much loved talent.”
DJ Edith Bowman wrote: “Can’t really believe I’m reading this. Saddest awakening ever. Love and best wishes to all the Hutchison and Frabbit family”, and author Ian Rankin tweeted: “No no no. Hellish news.”
More than 1,200 comments have been posted on the singer’s own Twitter account, with one fan writing “You’ve left a legacy of beautiful music.”
Fans voiced an outpouring of support, summed up by his brother and bandmate Grant who told Radio X earlier in the week: “The support’s been immense . . . There’s nothing that is so insurmountable that we can’t figure it out together and help you to get better and we’re all here for you and we all love you very much.”
Hutchison had addressed mental health difficulties in his songwriting, including on a song called Floating in the Forth in which he imagined his suicide: “And fully clothed, I float away / Down the Forth, into the sea / I think I’ll save suicide for another day.”
He formed Frightened Rabbit initially as a solo project in 2003, before Grant joined him to record their debut album in 2006. The band expanded to a five-piece, and amassed a loyal following for their emotionally rich songwriting.
Hutchison had recently completed a tour with the band to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their breakthrough 2008 album The Midnight Organ Fight, and another with his other band Mastersystem. He had recently spoken of plans for a sixth Frightened Rabbit album, saying: “I would like for that to be finished by the end of the year.” – GuardianService
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