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James Honeyman-Scott, the lead guitarist for the rock group...

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LONDON -- James Honeyman-Scott, the lead guitarist for the rock group The Pretenders, was found dead at a friend's apartment in London's Notting Hill section, police said today.

Honeyman-Scott, 25, who wrote many of the group's most popular songs, apparently died in his sleep Wednesday night, a police spokeswoman said.

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'There is no reason to suspect other than natural causes,' she said.

An inquiry into his death will be conducted today.

The Pretenders, an Anglo-American hybrid, appeared in 1980 and rapidly won both critical acclaim and chart success on both sides of the Atlantic with hit singles like 'Stop Your Sobbing' and 'Brass in Pocket.' They have recorded two successful albums.

Lead singer Chrissie Hynde, of Akron, Ohio, formed The Pretenders in London where she was working as a writer for the British rock newspaper New Musical Express. She was introduced to Honeyman-Scott, of Hereford, England, by bassist Pete Farndon.

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