The surviving members of Alice In Chains have broken their silence on the passing of lead singer Layne Staley, who was found dead in his Seattle apartment this weekend with heroin-injection parapherna

The surviving members of Alice In Chains have broken their silence on the passing of lead singer Layne Staley, who was found dead in his Seattle apartment this weekend with heroin-injection paraphernalia near his body. "Yesterday, we all managed to come together in Seattle; it's good to be with friends and family as we struggle to deal with this immense loss... and try to celebrate this immense life," the band said in a statement. "We are looking for all the usual things: comfort, purpose, answers, something to hold on to, a way to let him go in peace."

"Mostly, we are feeling heartbroken over the death of our beautiful friend," guitarist Jerry Cantrell, bassist Mike Inez, and drummer Sean Kinney added. "He was a sweet man with a keen sense of humor and a deep sense of humanity. He was an amazing musician, an inspiration, and comfort to so many. He made great music and gifted it to the world. We are proud to have known him, to be his friend, and to create music with him. For the past decade, Layne struggled greatly -- we can only hope that he has at last found some peace. We love you, Layne. Dearly. And we will miss you... endlessly."

"I am incredibly saddened by Layne's passing," Columbia Records Group chairman Don Ienner said in a separate statement. "His voice, lyrics and powerful presence were such a big part of what made Alice In Chains so special. On behalf of everyone at Columbia and Sony Music, I offer my condolences to Layne's family, friends and his millions of fans the world over. We have all lost a gifted artist and a great friend."

"Layne and I became good friends on the 1993 Lollapalooza tour," Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello said in a statement. "I will always remember him as the bright, funny, and amazingly talented singer who got up there every hot summer day in a gorgeous suit and sang like an angry angel. We would laugh until we split our sides arguing about who was 'more metal.' I hope now he is at peace."

Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo, who has battled drug problems of his own, had known Staley since 1990 and lamented that he did not receive potentially life-saving treatment for his addiction. "He wasn't strong enough to shake it off," Anslemo tells Billboard.com. "There's a way you can. The guy has to understand there are methadone clinics all throughout the United States that are willing to help you. That could have definitely helped him and saved him and gave him his life back."

Staley's family has requested that contributions be made in the artist's name to the Eastside Recovery Center, 1412 140th Place NE, Bellevue, WA 98007.