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Frightened Rabbit's Scott Hutchison Dies at 36

Billboard logo Billboard 5/11/2018 Gil Kaufman
a man wearing a black hat: Scott Hutchison © Roberto Ricciuti/Getty Images Scott Hutchison

After a frantic 48 hour search, police confirmed on Friday (May 11) that they have found the body of Frightened Rabbit singer Scott Hutchison. The 36 year-old musician went missing on Wednesday (May 9) and his friends and family had feared he might be struggling. Hutchison's family released a statement on Friday saying they were "utterly devastated with the tragic loss of our beloved Scott," via BBC News.

The family said they had "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."

Calling Hutchison a "wonderful son, brother, uncle and friend" who always made time for those he cared about, they added, "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."

Police in Edinburgh announced on Thursday night (May 10) that they'd found a body in the search for Hutchison, who was last seen around 1 a.m. on Wednesday (May 9). According to The Guardian police discovered the body around 8:30 p.m. on Thursday at Port Edgar near South Queensferry, though formal identification had yet to take place at press time. 

The singer was last spotted leaving the Dakota Hotel in South Queensferry, Scotland, after posting two cryptic messages the day before that had caused concern among his bandmates. "Be so good to everyone you love," the first tweet said. "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."

"I'm away now. Thanks," read the second tweet, posted a few minutes later.

The band posted a message on Twitter Wednesday morning asking for help, followed by an Instagram post later in the day. "We are worried about Scott, who has been missing for a little while now," read a tweet from the band's official account. "He may be in a fragile state and may not be making the best decisions for himself right now."

Hutchison was born in South Queensferry, Scotland, on Nov. 30, 1981, and studied illustration at the Glasgow School or Art before trying his hand at singing. He started as Frightened Rabbit in 2003 with his brother drummer Grant Hutchison and the pair released their debut, Sing the Greys, in 2006. The group expanded with the addition of guitarist Billy Kennedy, releasing The Midnight Organ Fight in 2008, which was followed by The Winter of Mixed Drinks (2010), Pedestrian Verse (2013) and 2016's Painting of a Panic Attack

His voice cloaked in a heavy Scottish accent, Hutchison's songs often probed the dark recesses of his thoughts,  as on the turbulent "I Wish I Was Sober" from 2016's Panic Attack, on which he sang "My love you should know/ The best of me left hours ago so/ Shove it right into my mouth and let me smolder/ Fallout and the damage done/ I can't un-sing the things I've sung." Like so many of the group's beloved songs, the track pulled off the tricky magic of enveloping those difficult feelings in often triumphant, stirring rock arrangements that invited fans to sing along to the most unlikely anthems. 

The singer also collaborated on a number of other side projects, including The Fruit Tree Foundation, a supergroup of Scottish musicians that included members of Idlewild, Delgados, The Twilight Sad, Sparrow and the Workshop and others whose stated aim was to "raise awareness of mental health and challenge perceptions of mental health problems by creating great art." He also performed with brother Grant Hutchison and Justin Lockey (Editors) and James Lockey (Minor Victories) in the group Mastersystem, which released its debut, Dance Music, in April of this year.

Frightened Rabbit toured North America in February and March to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Midnight Organ Fight and Hutchison had reportedly begun work on the Rabbit's sixth album.

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