HITS Daily Double


Alice in Chains Vocalist Dies of
Apparent Overdose
Another founder of the grunge movement has apparently died of a drug overdose.

Heroin paraphernalia was found with the body of Layne Staley, the singer of the grunge group Alice in Chains.

Authorities said Staley, 34, lay dead in his north Seattle apartment for about two weeks, his body surrounded by heroin-injection paraphernalia, before a relative discovered him.

Foul play was not suspected, and there was to be no criminal investigation, Seattle Police spokesman Duane Fish told the Associated Press. "There was nothing suspicious about the death. It appears to be overdose or possibly a natural death,'' Fish said.

Staley's body was found Friday, but the presence of drug paraphernalia and estimated time of death were not initially released. An autopsy was conducted on Saturday, but the cause of death won't be confirmed for weeks because toxin tests were being conducted.

Some 100 friends and fans held a candlelight vigil Saturday night at the Seattle Center.

"We all managed to come together in Seattle; it's good to be with friends and family as we struggle to deal with this immense loss... and try to celebrate this immense life. We are looking for all the usual things: comfort, purpose, answers, something to hold on to, a way to let him go in peace," reads a statement from Alice in Chains. "Mostly, we are feeling heartbroken over the death of our beautiful friend. He was a sweet man with a keen sense of humor and a deep sense of humanity. He was an amazing musician, an inspiration, and comfort to so many. He made great music and gifted it to the world. We are proud to have known him, to be his friend, and to create music with him. For the past decade, Layne struggled greatly—we can only hope that he has at last found some peace."

Alice in Chains became one of the biggest acts to emerge from the Seattle grunge phenomenon of the early 1990s, with Nirvana, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam. Alice in Chains was essentially in limbo by 1995, as Staley fell deeper into addiction. He spoke of making a comeback, but the band never again launched a major tour.

The band signed with Columbia in 1989, and worked constantly over the next seven years, recording six albums and touring around the world.

"I am incredibly saddened by Layne's passing. His voice, lyrics and powerful presence were such a big part of what made Alice in Chains so special," said Don Ienner, Chairman, Columbia Records Group. "On behalf of everyone at Columbia and Sony Music, I offer my condolences to Layne's family, friends and his millions of fans the world over. We have all lost a gifted artist and a great friend."

Staley entered rehab several times but couldn't kick his habit. He was featured on the cover of a 1996 issue of Rolling Stone with the heading ``The Needle and the Damage Done.''

Staley is the latest from the genre to succumb to drug addiction following the death of such other stars as Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, Andrew Wood of Mother Love Bone and Stefanie Sargent of Seven Year Bitch.

Staley's family has requested that contributions may be made in Layne's name to: Eastside Recovery Center, 1412 140th Place NE, Bellevue, WA 98007