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Crowded House Drummer Found Dead

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How sad...I loved Split Enz and Crowded House.

03/28/2005 5:08 PM, E! Online

Josh Grossberg

Paul Hester, the drummer for Crowded House, the Australian rockers best known stateside for their '80s hits "Don't Dream, It's Over," and "Something So Strong," committed suicide in Melbourne, Australia. He was 46.

According to local reports, Hester was last seen out walking his two dogs on Friday night. His body was found on Saturday, hanging from a tree in Elsternwick Park, a stone's throw away from his home in the southern part of the city.

No foul play was suspected and police declared his death a suicide, the result of "strangulation."

In 1983, Hester hooked up with New Wavers Split Enz, which became New Zealand's best-known musical exports. Two years later, he and Neil Finn quit the band and formed Crowded House, eschewing the pop-synth stylings of their New Wave past in favor of crafting catchy melodic tunes that relied on more stripped-down arrangements.

The group's self-titled 1986 debut went multi-platinum and earned them a massive following abroad, but failed to catch fire in America.

However, 1988's sophomore effort, Temple of Low Men, failed to repeat that success and by 1989 the band had all but dissolved. In 1991, the band reunited and released Woodface and scored a smash hit in the U.K. with "Weather with You."

In 1997, the drummer formed a new group, Largest Living Things, which played gigs around Australia. Hester was also tried his hand in radio and TV, emceeing a music program on Australia's ABC network as well as essaying a recurring role as Paul the Cook on the kid's show, The Wiggles.

Hester is survived by his two daughters, aged eight and 10.

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