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Shannon Hoon


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Richard Shannon Hoon (September 26, 1967 – October 21, 1995)
Early Life:
Hoon reportedly began using his middle name to avoid confusion with his father, who was also named Richard. In high school, Hoon was a stand-out athlete in football, wrestling, and pole vaulting. In addition to his reputation as an athlete, Hoon gained some local notoriety following several arrests by the Lafayette police. Hoon graduated from McCutcheon High School in 1985. After graduation, Hoon joined a local band named Styff Kytten, which also featured guitarist Michael Kelsey. Hoon took on the role of frontman and lead singer for the band. It was around this time that Hoon wrote his first song, Change.

Blind Melon
In his hometown Lafayette, Hoon befriended his sister Anna’s high school friend Axl Rose. Later he left Indiana for Los Angeles in hopes of making it in the music industry. After arriving in LA, Hoon met musicians Brad Smith, and Rogers Stevens at a party. Smith and Stevens saw Hoon perform his song Change acoustically and invited Hoon to play with them. Christopher Thorn and Glen Graham were then brought into the fold and soon the five musicians decided to form Blind Melon. In 1991, Blind Melon produced a four song demo and subsequently signed a $500,000 recording contract with Capitol Records.

In L.A., Axl Rose invited Hoon to join him in the studio, where his band Guns N’ Roses were recording their albums Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II. Hoon sang back-up vocals on several tracks, including Don’t Cry. Rose also invited Hoon to appear in the video for Don’t Cry, giving Hoon his first real taste of publicity.

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