In a followup to our piece mourning the untimely death of Righteous Brothers singer Bobby Hatfield, who died of heart failure at the age of 63 last November, there is sad news to report. Turns out Hatfield’s cardiac arrest was “triggered by acute cocaine intoxication.”
From ABC News:
An initial autopsy found Hatfield had advanced coronary disease. A heart attack due to the disease was listed on Hatfield’s death certificate.
However, [Dr. Richard Tooker, chief medical examiner for Michigan’s Kalamazoo County] said a final cause of death was not determined until after toxicology reports were completed. The death certificate will be changed to reflect cocaine as the cause of death, he said.
Tooker’s office received the report of cocaine intoxication on Dec. 24, but he asked for the information to be released after the holidays out of respect to Hatfield’s family.
What makes this turn of events even more tragic is that here is one more death that continues the sordid connection between rock-n-roll and drugs. I could not be more sad about this — what a waste of a true talent through a death that could have been avoided. Should have been avoided.
My deepest sympathies to the Hatfield family, to justifiably disappointed fans, and to the surviving (and reportedly “shocked”) Righteous Brother, Bill Medley.