Mike Starr, the original bass player of grunge rock band, Alice In Chains, has been found dead at his home in Salt Lake City after police were called to the house at 1.42pm local time. He was aged just 44.
The cause of death is as yet unknown but Starr had a well publicized battle with alcoholism and drug addiction, which led to him appearing on the third season of VH1’s show, “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” in 2009 and the spin-off show, “Sober House”.
Starr left the heavy metal group in 1993 but remained on good terms with his band mates. Through their manager, they released a statement to say they are mourning the loss of their friend and asking for the privacy of them and of the Starr family to be respected.
Dr Drew Pinsky, who treated Mike Starr on both of the reality TV shows, “Celebrity Rehab” and “Sober House” Tweeted his condolences, saying it was “Devastating to hear of Mike Starr succumbing to his illness.”
In the early 1990s, while Starr was with the band, Alice In Chains achieved international fame with fellow grunge acts Nirvana and Pearl Jam and sold more than 25 million albums worldwide.
However, Starr’s life spiraled out of control with addiction to alcohol and addiction to prescription drugs and controlled substances. As late as February 2011, he was arrested for the felony of being in possession of a controlled substance, 6 Xanax pills and 6 Opana (painkiller) pills.
Mike’s father said, “It’s a terrible shock and tragedy.”