Former Alice In Chains bassist and star of VH1’s Celebrity Rehab Mike Starr was found dead Tuesday in his Salt Lake City home. He was 44. The cause of death is currently under investigation by the medical examiner, though police don’t suspect foul play.
Starr was an original member of Alice In Chains, playing on the seminal Seattle grunge band’s 1990 debut, Facelift, and its second full-length record (and career benchmark), 1992’s Dirt. The following year he was asked to leave the band because of his substance abuse. Starr talked about his departure from Alice In Chains on Celebrity Rehab, where he also shared his guilt over having argued with Layne Staley shortly before the AIC singer died of a drug overdose in 2002. Like Staley, Starr was haunted by drug troubles until the very end of his life, having been arrested just last month for possession of controlled substances.
Surviving AIC members Jerry Cantrell and Sean Kinney released a statement Tuesday, saying that they “are mourning the loss of their friend and ask that the media respect their privacy—and the privacy of Mike's family—during this difficult time. Their thoughts & prayers are with the Starr family."