Layne Staley (Layne Thomas Staley)
Layne Staley was born in Kirkland, Washington on August 22nd 1967. He actually began by playing drums at the age of 12, but soon aspired to be a singer. Staley was reportedly in several glam bands before 1986 when he formed 'Alice N' Chainz'. While 'Alice N' Chainz' was playing speed metal in the Seattle Area, Staley met guitarist Jerry Cantrell. The two became room mates and eventually Staley would join Jerry Cantrell's band 'Diamond Lie', which later changed it's name to 'Alice in Chains'.
Their debut album, named 'Facelift' was released on August 21st, 1990 (They did release a promotional EP 'We Die Young' a month earlier). 'Facelift' peaked at 42 on the billboard chart buoyed in large part by the single 'Man in the Box'. In early 1992 they released another EP, 'Sap', then in September of 1992 they released the album, 'Dirt'. Half of the songs on 'Dirt' dealt with addiction, a fact that didn't appear to hurt sales as 'Dirt' made it to 6 on the Billboard Charts. Allegedly, Alice in Chains did not tour long in support of 'Dirt' due to Layne Staley's drug addiction.
In 1994, Alice in Chains released another EP, 'Jar of Flies', but allegedly, chose not to tour in support of it because Staley's drug addiction was having such a detrimental effect on his physical condition. Staley then entered into a rehabilitation clinic. During this time he joined the "super group", 'Mad Season', and in 1995, Alice in Chains released their self-titled album, 'Alice in Chains'. The tour for 'Alice in Chains' was allegedly cut short, due to Staley's relapse into drug addiction. His last public performance was on July 3rd, 1996.
His former fiancée, Demri Lara Parrott died on October 29th, 1996 from bacterial endocarditis, allegedly as a result of drug use.
Staley recorded a couple tracks with 'Alice in Chains' in 1998 as well as recording vocal tracks for the "super group", 'Class of '99'.
Layne Staley was found dead in his apartment by police on April 20th, 2002. The coroner estimated that he had died on April 5th, 2002. He was found, "on a couch, lit by a flickering TV, next to several spray-paint cans on the floor, not far from a small stash of cocaine near two crack pipes on the coffee table".
"I know I'm near death, I did crack and heroin for years. I never wanted to end my life this way." - Layne Staley 2002