Mike Starr of Alice in Chains dead at 44

Categories: Obituary
Alice.In.Chains-band-1990.jpg
Mike Starr, top center, with the original Alice in Chains lineup in 1990
Mike Starr, original bassist and co-founder of the Seattle-based grunge band Alice in Chains, died today at his home in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was 44 years old.

Unfortunately, Starr had been publicly battling with drug addiction for the past few years. He appeared on the VH1 reality show Celebrity Rehab last year, which detailed his battle with heroin addiction and subsequent treatment at the Pasadena Recovery Center. The last time he appeared on the show, he was celebrating six months, seven days of sobriety.

Then, on February 18 of this year, Starr was arrested in Salt Lake City for felony possession of a controlled substance (six Xanax and six Opana, according to police).

Before playing in Alice in Chains, Starr cut his teeth in the Seattle scene as the bassist for Diamond Lie, a band he shared with his eventual AIC bandmates Jerry Cantrell and Sean Kinney. They invited Cantrell's roommate, Layne Staley, to join the band, morphing into Alice in Chains in the early '90s. The group was signed to Columbia Records and rose to prominence as part of the burgeoning grunge scene in Seattle. Starr's bass playing can be heard on Alice in Chain's full-lengths Facelift and Sap, as well as the Dirt EP.

Starr left Alice in Chains in 1993, a decision he told Celebrity Rehab was fueled by a growing drug addiction problem. 


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