Mike Starr, the former bassist for the Seattle grunge band Alice in Chains, was found dead today at his home in Salt Lake City. A spokesperson for the Salt Lake City police department said that officers responded to a 911 call from Starr’s apartment at about 1:40 p.m., where they pronounced the rocker dead. Police are still investigating the cause of death, though they’ve ruled out foul play and said there “was nothing glaring [at the scene] that would immediately indicate [a drug overdose].” The Utah Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy, but its results typically take at least a month.
Starr, who was 44, played with Alice in Chains from its formation in 1987 until 1993, including on its multi-platinum albums Facelift (1990) and Dirt (1992), which spawned hit songs like “Man In the Box,” “Would?” and “Rooster.”
Starr later said his departure from the group was due to his struggle with heroin addiction, and he appeared on the third season of VH1’s Celebrity Rehab in 2010. He was arrested last month for illegal possession of prescription drugs.
In a statement, bandmates Jerry Cantrell and Sean Kinney said, “Jerry and Sean are mourning the loss of their friend and ask that the media respect their privacy – and the privacy of Mike’s family – during this difficult time. Their thoughts & prayers are with the Starr family.”
Other rockers paid their respects on Twitter:
“RIP Mike Starr. Another fallen Soldier to addiction..:(” – Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx
“Drugs and alcohol aren’t a joke. Please take care of yourself and respect yourself. We lost Mike Starr today. Rest in peace man.” – Velvet Revolver drummer Matt Sorum
“song of the day: ROOSTER - ALICE IN CHAINS (RIP MIKE STARR)” – Matchbox Twenty’s Rob Thomas
“I love and will miss my brother mike starr and I’m doing what ever it takes to not hurt all my friends and family” – former Guns ‘N’ Roses drummer Steve Adler