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Mike Starr, former Alice in Chains bassist, dead at 44

March 11, 2011

Starr joins the late Layne Staley as deceased members of grunge icons Alice in Chains, who continue to entertain a loyal fanbase under a reassembled lineup.

Mike Starr, the former bassist for rock group Alice in Chains, died Tuesday at his home in Salt Lake City, Utah.

While the cause for death is yet to be released, heavy speculation leads to a drug-related fatality. The musician had struggled with drug problems throughout his life, which according to some rumors, led to his departure from the Alice in Chains shortly after the release of their 1992 album Dirt.

Being kicked out of Alice in Chains for drug use would be quite a phenomenon in substance abuse. Lead vocalist Layne Staley struggled with drug addictions for years before overdosing from a speedball in 2002.

Starr, who was reportedly arranging a new band before his untimely passing, had made his battle with drugs a public affair in years passing. Appearing on reality rehabilitation shows Celebrity Rehab and its subsequent spin-off Sober House, Starr’s story drew a reputation that transcended his rock fanbase.

According to police reports, Starr made a desperate call for drugs mere hours before his estimated time of death. Celebrity news website TMZ has acquired the audio what is supposedly the last voice mail message Starr left, to an unidentified friend.

Personally, I find it disgusting and exploitative of TMZ to intercept and publicize the words of a desperate, brainwashed and soon-to-be-dead man. With that, I’ll let my sickest readers employ their search engines, if their curiosity is really that strong.

Rest in peace Mike. I’ll always rejoice in your bassline for “Would?”

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