Layne Staley



Layne Staley (August 22, 1967 – ca. April 5, 2002) was the singer of the bands Alice In Chains and Mad Season.

Staley’s parents divorced when he was just 8 years old, an event that shaped whole life. Layne started to play drums when he was 12 and eventually decided to become a singer. In 1987, together with Jerry Cantrell (guitar), he formed Alice in Chains. Other members were Sean Kinney (drums) and Mike Starr (bass) who was later replaced by Mike Inez. The group released their first EP We Die Young in 1990, followed by their debut album Facelift the same year. Facelift became a huge success and allowed the band to open for Val Halen and Iggy Pop.

But it was their second album Dirt (1993) that launched them to superstardom. It also worsened Staley’s drug addiction, and in 1994 after releasing the EP Jar of Flies, he went to another rehab. In 1995, he formed the short-lived group Mad Season along with Mike McCready (guitar) from Pearl Jam, Barrett Martin(drums) from Screaming Trees, and John Baker Saunders (bass). They recorded Above, released in 1995. That year Staley also recorded what would be his last studio album with Alice in Chain, and he played MTV Unplugged with the band the following year.

In 1996, after the death of his ex-girlfriend Demri Lara Parrott, Layne abandoned any attempts to fight his addiction. He recorded a few new Alice in Chains songs in preparation for the Music Bank box set in 1999, and he played Pink Floyd covers in supergroup Class of ’99 for the soundtrack to The Faculty. In his last interview Staley said, “I know I made a big mistake when I started using this shit. The pain is more than you can handle. It’s the worst pain in the world. Dope sick hurts the entire body.”

Staley was found dead in his apartment on April 19, 2002. According to the police report, he died c. Apr 5 due to a drug overdose.

Layne’s body was cremated.

In 2003 the Layne Staley Fund was founded as a non-profit organization that raises money for drug treatment and works with the Seattle music community. For more information, please visit

If you want to light the candle for him, you can do it here.


8 responses to “Layne Staley

  1. I wish I appreciated you more when you were alive Layne

     photo candle_zps25ac8f6c.gif

  2. Wasted Talent…Such a shame.

    • Still he shared his talent with us before he passed away.

    • My dear there was no wasted talent he was by far one lf the most gifted, talented souls to ever live. To have such an amazing gift and fans overwhelm many artists. He was a gift to those in pain as well as those who suffered addiction. His lyrics so cryptic his vocals so beyond anything anyones ever heard. You could sense the happiness as well as his pain within his lyrics and presence on stage as well as off. He deserves someone to defend his soul not bash is by saying what a waste of talent. Who are we to judge? Our only Judge is our maker… Whom had known everything about Layne prior to his life beginning and ending… I would say you seem disappointed in the fact he’s gone. Yet if you don’t see he’s very much alive in many people’s hearts and minds then I’m sorry. Layne Thomas Staley thank you for your talent and your ability to allow me to find peace and solace within my heart and mind. Yes, I love you for being an angel that after you were gone you managed to save me…. May you forever be with everyone whos ever felt alone and able to allow us to learn from your life. Happy Belated Birthday Layne…

  3. I wish i had met you, talked with you.

  4. I never met Layne but it’s like I know him for an entire life….and I can not stop loving him… I think there was a special and unique gift for us.. so, let’s give him the right appreciation !

  5. I miss you so much it hurts<3

  6. Damien Hughes

    Our pain is self chosen at least I believe it to be… No truer words were ever spoken river of deceit was his swan song his goodbye to the world 🌎 what a beautiful gifted and tormented soul , I too lost the love of my life my son’s mom died on Christmas of 2018 the pain that I feel I know you knew fully you understand what I’m going through because it consumed you I pray that O can escape this all consuming depression . Layne Staley you made a difference in so many different lives and people from all walks of life together ❤find solace in your life and lyrics now you can fly,your wings are no longer denied….

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