RIP: Former Alice in Chains Bassist Mike Starr Found Dead

Starr had a history of substance abuse, and was recently featured on "Celebrity Rehab".

Johnny Firecloudby Johnny Firecloud

RIP: Former Alice in Chains Bassist Mike Starr Found Dead

Former Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr was found dead Tuesday afternoon (March 8). No cause of death has been determined as of press time.

Police reportedly found Starr’s body in a Salt Lake City, Utah, house at 1:42 p.m. He was 44 years old.

A co-founding member of Seattle grunge outfit Alice in Chains, Starr was kicked out of the band for drug use while touring behind the band’s breakthrough album Dirt in 1993. He appeared on VH1’s "Celebrity Rehab" in 2009, and was arrested last month for felony possession of a controlled substance. Salt Lake City police said he had several painkillers on him when he was arrested. 

In a sadly similar circumstance, former AIC singer Layne Staley died in spring 2002 after overdosing on a mixture of heroin and cocaine, commonly known as a "speedball." His body wasn’t discovered for several days, prompting an industry-wide examination of support systems for troubled musicians.

Alice in Chains mounted a successful comeback with 2009’s Black Gives Way to Blue, which featured new vocalist William DuVall alongside guitarist Jerry Cantrell, drummer Sean Kinney and bassist Mike Inez. Starr was not a part of the reunion.

Starr briefly joined former Black Sabbath singer Ray Gillen in the band Sun Red Sun. Their self-titled debut was released in 1995, two years after Gillen died from AIDS-related complications.

Heroin addiction also led Starr to a stint in the spin-off show "Sober House." He showed up on one episode of the following season of "Celebrity Rehab," celebrating more than six months of sobriety. He was arrested for possession by Salt Lake City police on February 18, 2011.