An autopsy conducted Tuesday on the body of Joe Strummer determined that the Clash singer/guitarist died of sudden cardiac arrest.
Somerset, England, coroner Michael Rose, who conducted the exam, said the 50-year-old punk icon’s death was not drug related.
Strummer collapsed at his Somerset home on Sunday after returning from walking his dog. His wife, Lucinda, found him and tried to revive him but could not (see “Joe Strummer Of The Clash Dead At 50″ ).
Strummer is survived by his wife, two daughters and a stepdaughter, who have requested that grieving fans send contributions to the upcoming Nelson Mandela SOS fund-raising concert in South Africa, which is raising money for the region’s fight against AIDS. Strummer had planned to play at the February show on Robben Island, where Mandela was formerly jailed (see “Bono, Shaggy, Macy Gray To Play AIDS Benefit In South Africa” ).
The Clash, who helped shape the English punk scene in the late ’70s, were announced as inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last month, and Strummer had wanted to reunite with his former bandmates to play the March 10 induction ceremony — what would have been their for the first time onstage together since 1986 (see “Strummer Had Wanted Clash Reunion At Rock Hall Ceremony” ).
In addition, Strummer had recently finished touring the U.K. with his band the Mescaleros and had begun work on the group’s third album. He had also shot a pilot for the MTV2 show “Global Boombox With Joe Strummer,” which features clips from world, reggae, pop and punk acts, including Buccaneer, Capleton, Angélique Kidjo, Youssou N’Dour and Rancid.
Most artists had already taken off for the holidays when the news broke that Strummer died, but U2 frontman Bono, Moby, Audioslave’s Tom Morello, Ramones guitarist Johnny Ramone and Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones were quick to pay their respects (see “Bono, Moby, Tom Morello, Others Remember Joe Strummer” ).
Wrote Morello in a statement: “Joe Strummer was my greatest inspiration, my favorite singer of all time and my hero. I already miss him so much.”