Mark Lanegan, frontman of ’90s alt-rock hitmakers Screaming Trees who went on to have a long and acclaimed career as a solo artist, died on Tuesday (Feb. 22). A post on Lanegan’s official Twitter account announced that he “passed away this morning at his home in Killarney, Ireland.” He was 57.
The Washington-born Lanegan founded Screaming Trees with guitarist Gary Lee Conner, bassist Van Conner and drummer Mark Pickerel in the mid-’80s. Signing to storied indie label SST in 1986, the band became part of the Seattle area’s rising grunge scene, and experienced a mainstream breakthrough in 1992 (with new drummer Barrett Martin) when their massive-sounding Sweet Oblivion single “Nearly Lost You” was featured on the soundtrack to the timely Seattle-set rom-com Singles. The song peaked at No. 5 on Billboard‘s Alternative Airplay chart, one of four appearances from the group on the listing — including “All I Know,” the group’s second top 10 hit (from their Dust album) in 1996.
In 2000, amidst a vastly changed alt-rock landscape, the group split up. Lanegan had long since embarked upon a solo career by that point, which would flower with well-reviewed sets like 2004’s Bubblegum and 2012’s Blues Funeral, which also marked his highest-peaking set on the Billboard 200 albums chart (No. 99). He also maintained artistic partnerships with numerous other notable alt-rockers of the period, including Queens of the Stone Age (singing on album highlights like Rated R‘s “In the Fade” and Songs For the Deaf‘s “God Is in the Radio”), Greg Dulli of the Afghan Whigs (with whom Lanegan released 2008’s Saturnalia as “The Gutter Twins”) and Isobel Campbell of Belle and Sebastian (with whom Lanegan released three LPs, most recently 2010’s Hawk).
“A beloved singer, songwriter, author and musician he was 57 and is survived by his wife Shelley,” the tweet from his official account today continued. “No other information is available at this time. We ask Please respect the family privacy.”