Alice In Chains frontman Layne Staley died after injecting himself with a heroin and cocaine mixture known as a “speedball,” according to an autopsy report from the King County (Wash.) Medical Examiner’s Office. The artist was found dead in his north Seattle home on April 19, surrounded by drug paraphernalia. Staley, 34, had been dead for two weeks, according to the report.
Alongside fellow Seattle-based acts Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Soundgarden, Alice In Chains rose to prominence in the early ’90s heyday of grunge rock. The group’s first album, “Facelift,” was released by Columbia in 1990, and subsequent albums such as 1992’s “Dirt” and 1994’s “Jar of Flies” gained Alice In Chains an international following.
Staley frequently struggled with drug abuse, and his lyrics often reflected the battle: “What’s my drug of choice? / Well, what you got? / I don’t go broke and I do it a lot,” he sang in “Junkhead,” from “Dirt.” His problems ultimately derailed the band following the release of a 1995 self-titled album, the final full-length the group would put to tape.
“We are proud to have known him, to be his friend, and to create music with him,” the band’s surviving members said in a statement last month. “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.”