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Layne Staley

Born: 1967-08-22 - Died: 2002-04-05
Cause of Death:
Drug Overdose

Death Summary: At the age of 34, Staley's body was discovered at his condo surrounded by crack pipes, spray paint cans, cocaine, and misc. drug paraphernalia. They estimated that he had died 15 days earlier. In what must have been a hideous discovery, Stayel's body weighed only 86 pounds. His autopsy results concluded that a "speedball" - a mixture of heroin and cocaine is what killed him in the end.

His estimated death date - April 5th marked the 8 year anniversary of fellow "grunge" band frontman Kurt Cobain. Unfortunately, the media did not make nearly the fuss about Staley's demise.

Who was Layne Staley : Layne Thomas Staley was the lead vocalist and co-founder of the 90's "grunge" rock band Alice in Chains, as well as side project Mad Season.

He battled drug addiction (heroin in particular) for years until it ultimately claimed his life.

Staley's drug abuse eventually became publicized and the rumors inevitablly began to fly. A popular one was that he had contracted gangrene from using dirty needles and had to have his arm amputated. Though he was not in the public eye much during the end, sources close to him have denied any such rumors.

The music of Alice in Chains still gets moderately heavy radio airplay to this day.
Popular YouTube videos about Layne Staley

138 Signatures in Layne Staley's guestbook

  1. josh Says:

    one of the very best,very sad

  2. Curt Thomas Says:

    What a sad day for music………

  3. Anne Angeline Says:

    thanks for all your music…

  4. Jennifer Says:

    I named my son Layne as a tribute to a man whose music means the world to me and my husband

  5. jon Says:

    i feel your music, i appreciate it all, see ya round bro

  6. Laura Says:

    miss you :(

  7. Michael Says:

    I love your voice and your style… RIP for ever

  8. Mark Says:

    Solo quiero decir muchas gracias por tu musica Layne….te seguire recordando por siempre.

  9. glyndwr Says:

    dwin caru y ganu chdi wasy. canwr gorau yn y byd.

  10. Sherie Wainscott Says:

    The world lost a true musician on 4/5/2002. I only hope that you have found the peace for your soul that you so needed. I will always cherish your music and that beautiful voice. R.I.P. Layne!

  11. James Says:

    your my hero everday

  12. shannon Says:

    He will always live on though his music.

  13. Julie Says:

    NO one can ever compare to Layne’s voice. He was a great musician. I really miss never knowing what could have been. I pray for you that you are at peace…..

  14. Gabriel Says:

    Layne,talent that will never be passed by, for me.
    Man you showed me what is music.you’re where the junkies applied(died).R.I.P this is the saddest day

  15. Angelo Terrero Says:

    Layne is terribly missed and still loved an utter inspiration to me and my development as an artist and lets remember facelift was out and changing music before nevermind no dis to Kurt i love him too just wanna give Layne the props he deserves.

  16. Arieanna Says:

    We Love you Layne.RIP.

  17. Garret Black Says:

    One of the best ever!!!

  18. Dr Mark Peacock Says:

    The most tragic waste of talent since Jimi Hendrix; he had the most underappreciated voice I have heard.

  19. ALLAN Says:

    words can not describe the talent and gift layne had..nobody will ever come close to replaceing a music legend…as well as another fallen hero Shannon Hoon…R.I.P.

  20. chris perkins Says:

    my you find the peace in the after life, that you couldn’t find while you were alive. as life goes on so do your music. you are an inspiration and a legend, one of the greatest. you are sadly missed.

  21. Sadie Donovan Says:

    Listening to “Nutshell” …thinking what a shame it was to lose you. I’m so sad that you were so alone.

  22. Jose Campos Says:

    We Die Young. There is no one like Laney and I dont believe that there will never be any one to match up or come close.

  23. JOHNBOO Says:


  24. Paul Says:

    No-one could sing like Layne, he was the best.

  25. Ryan Says:

    Long live Layne’s Legacy. Will see you in the afterlife, your still alive in all of us.

  26. Jean Says:

    Just sending my regards to Layne Staley, he was IS a big influence in my life. One of the only rockstars to have been truely a great person inside and out. Just had his own demons to beat, and he chose to stay with them. RIP layne staley, love you alot

  27. D.scott miller Says:

    layne is my hero and in my eyes god

  28. Tammy Says:

    Love him, miss him. Can’t believe they kept the name. He was Alice in Chains.

  29. ADAM TEIGHE Says:

    “lay down black gives way to blue,
    lay down I’ll remember you.”

    RIP layne

  30. Kurt Cobain (Pfeiffer) Says:

    Layne i miss your vocal and your important lyrics that everyone respected in love someday ill kick it with you n Kurt talk about life after heaven

  31. Zack Pfeiffer Says:

    I Love Alice in Chains my favorite band of all time!!R.i.P Layne

  32. steve Says:

    i was never the same after lanye died

  33. Terri Fredrick Says:

    Layne was great,he is missed deeply.

  34. Sean Paddison Says:


  35. lindsey p Says:

    RIP Layne, your beautiful voice will never be forgotten, Finally your ” wings were NOT denied”.

  36. Adam Says:

    truely under-rated musician

    and seemed a nice guy too

  37. Nick Thompson Says:

    you are greatly missed and i wonder a great deal how it was

  38. carlos gonzalez Says:

    R.I.P layne staley……… one of the musicians, lyricist,and vocalist ever….

  39. Dave Says:

    Best original voice ever…his music and lyrics will be missed forever, but never forgotten. We can always listen and appreciate the man behind the music. God Bless…

  40. Josh Says:

    …To the greatest vocalist of all time. A man who has been an inspiration to myself and many others. To a person who just got lost in the darkness. Layne Staley; a friend, a brother, a son. I too named my son after the late Layne Staley. His memory will never be forgotten. Rest In Peace my friend.

  41. Jason Says:

    I will never forget the best voice In music known to mankind! It’s not the same with you not around anymore Layne! God took you for a reason, you are in his mansion now! Mat God bless you and ease your pain.

  42. jeremy S. Says:

    love and respect

  43. james orton Says:

    Get busy livin or get busy dying. We can all learn from this man ( not rock god … he didnt have anything more than we’re all born with ) Have a son or daughter, and you should realise , to only have yourself is a lonley pitifull existance. R.I.P Layne

  44. Jaytee Says:

    Amazing voice. Truly inspirational.
    See ya when I get there man.
    RIP Layne

  45. Andrew D Myers Says:

    Amazingly inspirational and truely haunting voice. The best musician to come out of Seattle, ever. Just wish his time here would have been longer. RIP Layne

  46. Joel Says:

    Layne, may you find your peace in the afterlife. Your words & your music are an inspiration to me & so many others. You are sadly missed & truly are one of the greatest musicians ever.

  47. Margaret Bodemeaid Says:

    The Best! No one can sing like you did. The day we lost you was a very sad day. You may not be here but you will live on forever in our hearts. I could feel your pain in your voice, so much soul to it.
    RIP Layne

  48. timmay Says:

    defnitely missed

  49. Julie Says:

    Still so missed. Can’t believe it’s been nearly 8 years. Thanks for being a part of it all. Miss you…

  50. Nancy Says:

    layne we’ll miss u a lot ur music was badass RIP ialways listen to Man in the box and rooster my favorite songs. best wishes for the family

  51. Nancy Says:

    i cant believe its been 8 yrs and ur music is still good

  52. todd whitman Says:

    Undisputedly one of the most renound voices of rock and roll ever. Truly, truly waisted talent…it sux without him.

  53. Rebekah Says:

    The sound that Layne gave to “us” is unforgettable~He was more than a face in the crowd, he gave me answers through his music…and for that, he’ll NEVER be forgotten.

  54. Dan Says:

    I can’t even believe it has been 8 years……I miss you Layne…….RIP your music will live forever.

  55. Dea Says:

    RIP, miss you Layne

  56. Rob Says:

    As a struggling addict I know, all too well, the battle that Layne was in. I weep as I listen to the song Don’t Follow. When I lose the battle, and I’m sure I will in one way or another, Don’t follow will be played at my funeral. I’m sure Layne said as I say now, If I could only go back. RIP Layne, see ya’ soon…

  57. Nigel Graham Says:

    It is so sad, I still remember the day I heard this on the radio. To think he was 86 LBS and dead for 15 days. Breaks me apart, too bad no one could have gotten through to him in time.

  58. lori Says:

    It is 8 years this month since we lost you. You were an incredible talent and a good person. Just listened to “Would” unplugged. Blows me away every time. As weak as you were feeling during that performance, you still managed to amaze. RIP Layne. You are still missed and will always be remembered.

  59. Jashu Says:

    Something about you effects me so much…I havent even listened a lot of AIC,but you are just special to me.Your life,the way you died,its all meaningful altough you suffered.Rest in peace.

  60. Christen Stephens Says:

    Layne you are the most epic person ever! I love you xD
    Christen Stephens

  61. pedro lemos Says:

    RIP my friend i will never forget you ! RIP…

  62. Vinícius Carvalho Barboza Says:

    He still alive and will be forever in music. At least, his pretty fucking cool and powerful voice will be with until my dying day. And after if possible. PS: Sorry for my poor english, folks.

  63. Thomas Says:

    Only 62 people bothered to sign this??? WTF!! I have thought about Layne every day since I heard of his tragic passing. His music will be a huge part of my life untill im dead & gone. I love you Layne. Your music touched me in so many ways. Im sorry it took me so long to research your passing. The pain was just to much to relive it. I leave with a quote from another soul gone to early.. (WE LIVE WE DIE AND DEATH NOT ENDS IT, JOURNEY WE MORE INTO THE NIGHTMARE. JAMES DOUGLAS MORRISON.

  64. bernie said Says:

    Thanks !

  65. Dea Says:


  66. Michelle Says:

    One of the best singers, he compares to nobody. He’s a legend and there will never be anybody as gifted as him. I hope that he has finally found peace. RIP you are missed, see you in heaven

  67. Shelby Says:

    from the first time i seen Alice in Chains on my tv in their MTV recording, i immediately knew there was something about this pink haired man. Then he started to sing, nutshell (which is my favorite). Tho no songs that have Layne’s voice can steer me wrong. I fell in love with him and the band mates dark music. I sat in silence with my boyfriend who loved them for years before he sat me down and threw on the DVD. A night i will never forget. Each song was breathtaking to have someone feel all this pain and taking mine away is something magical. I thank Layne Jerry Mike/Mike and Sean for helping me through a hard time and more to come in my life. AIC is the only music i can turn to and be OK. As i was saying my soul was in silence hearing this beautiful man sing his heart out. And at the end of Unplugged my boyfriend of course had to tell me he was no longer with us, my heart sunk so far down and im still hurt Layne is gone. But so very thankfull for the music that is left behind. Layne Staley you are with me everywhere man and so forth to the future generations, such as my 5 year old boy he loves you. RIP

  68. James Says:

    miss you bud.

  69. Sam Lavender Says:

    Rest in Peace Layne. I’ll never forget you.

  70. Terri Martinez Says:

    Beautiful Angry Angel, I hope you found the peace in death that you couldn’t find in life.

    Your are greatly missed

  71. James E. Says:

    Listen to your music everyday of my life. Sad you are not with us anymore. Lost is one of the most influential voices of the modern rock era. Although I was not fortunate to attend a live AIC concert with Layne at the helm, I’m glad to have been along for the ride through the surviving CDs and DVDs documenting their concerts. Best band and singer ever!!!! I will continue to ponder on what could have been and remain selfishly angry that he is around no longer to make awesome music. RIP Layne!!!

  72. Jeff McClintock Says:

    I often thought that the 80’s brought about the best decade of music ever. I’m a huge fan of 80’s hair metal bands, but as the grunge bands started to emerge, AIC was by far my favorite of all of them. To this day they r one of my all time favorites. As many have stated before me, I belive u can hear Layne’s pain and tourment come out in all thier songs through his unmistakeable/awesome voice. Their songs r so deep,complex and carry alot of meaining. There is a cruel irony to life sometimes. When some people achieve success,fame and fortunate, that their ability to attain/buy some things (drugs), more easily than most of us, it can lead to their own demise. As such that his voice often communicated pain and suffering, his life also followed that same haunted path. I often think what it would be like to be a young wealthy rock star, the world at your feet, so many things one could do. That type of life style sounds so alluring, but then u think of all the negative things that can accompany it and then u realize, it comes at a great price. It is always a shame for the world to lose so many young gifted musicians to early, one can only think of what all the great music that will never be created by them. I think of Steve Clark of Def Leppard whom couldn’t cope with being out of the spot light, which ultimately lead to his demise. RIP Layne At least we still can enjoy the awesome music you left us with, before u left.

  73. AnonymousGirl Says:

    This is truly sad

  74. Maria Says:

    When I listen to Layne’s voice I feel his pain, his struggle. A struggle which is so much like my own. What a beautiful man. Gone too soon. RIP

  75. Anonymous Says:

    Layne has made an impact on me that no other musician has ever been able to do. The moment I saw him open his mouth and heard that beautiful voice that was painful, but at the same time soothing, I felt an instant connection to him. I have thought about him each day since, and I would have given nearly anything to take away some of his hurt, the way that his music has lifted much of mine. I can not believe that he gave up on life, and I often wonder why someone didn’t try harder to stop it. Given the oppurtunity, I would have done something myself. I know that Layne shut everyone out and isolated himself to the point that it was not unusual for days or weeks to go by without hearing from him, and that no one else is to blame for that much, but it is still very unfortunate that he died alone. He knew he was dying and no one prevented it, himself included. Layne, I will never forget you and I hope that once I leave this world I might finally have the oppurtunity to thank you for everything you have done to help me, and the rest of your fans, make it through our struggles. Just wish someone had done the same for you.

    “You don’t understand who they thought I was supposed to be…
    Look at me now, a man who won’t let himself be” – Down in a Hole

    R.I.P. Layne Thomas Staley
    August 22, 1967 – April 5, 2002

  76. tanya noble Says:

    layne i pray for your’e soul & for peace for you’re family. you’re voice always brings me to tears.i wish you were here so u could see how much u were loved & never alone. my heart still breaks for you. i hope you have found peace in death.

  77. Chris Says:

    Miss and love you always Layne. Hope to be with you soon.

  78. tony Says:

    R.I.P LAYNE,,ur music will never die!

  79. Taylor Roberts Says:

    You look at one of the last live performances in ’96 and feel the pain in Laynes voice. A vocal artist like himself lives in the hearts of everyone, painting pictures which are merely indescribeable. Hes a god and a genius but most importantly, an angel that walks among us.

  80. Chris Says:

    Hope to be with you soone

  81. nadine Says:

    i am doing a boigraphy project on him. i also picked him because he is like a god and the best ever. i wish he was still here today and meet him on the other side of the bridge.

  82. August Says:

    You helped me see inside myself I enjoy god am and hate to feel I’m only a kid but I understand what its like to feel others misery and hatred

  83. IMissLayne Says:

    It makes me so happy to read all the comments by everyone. I normally don’t see a lot of them on websites about Layne.

    Layne, not a day goes by that I don’t think about you and wish that I could of met you while you were still alive. You had so much talent that never truly got the recognition it deserved. You told your life and predicted your death through your lyrics. If it weren’t for you, I would have never made it through my teenage years. Your voice and words have gotten me through the darkest times. Sometimes I feel like your the only person in the world who ever understood how I feel when I’m sad. I wish you knew how much you were loved and knew how much you would be missed. It breaks my heart to imagine what your last day was like on this earth and to know that for so many years you felt alone. Yes, life does go on, but it doesn’t take away the pain, or the memories and you never forget. There will never be another Layne.

  84. dennis Says:

    Layne was and always be my favorite singer/songwriter, his voice was uncomparable to anyone’s. No matter what band he was in, he rocked! Rest in peace brother, can’t wait to meet you in heaven and hear your amazing voice once again!

  85. Dowansa Says:

    R.I.P your one of the most awesomest people that ever walked the earth.

  86. hayden Says:

    i love you. I love your music. I hope your in peace with your beautiful girlfriend.

  87. Bill Skudlarek Says:

    We miss you!!! http://www.jukeboxalive.com/squilax

  88. ken Says:

    up there with mike and kurt and others love grunge

  89. Derek C. Says:

    Good bye to Mike Starr. So close to Laynes death date….

  90. Roddy Says:

    Never will hear another voice like that…….I listen everyday

  91. Rerigueri Says:

    April 5th… We still miss u!!!!!!!

  92. Rob Says:

    Layne,U are truly missed by millions of AIC Fans including myself.Yes U we’re underappreciated and underrated here on earth,but your rewards are in heaven now, where no one can take that away from U!!! WE all know who was the best vocalist by far! Heaven Beside You and RIP Layne!

  93. Mindy Says:

    RIP Layne – a haunting, talented voice that can never be duplicated.

  94. Barry Says:

    What an amazing singer he was. Funny how some of the most creative and tlented people in the world are some of the most tortured as well. You will always be missed Layne

  95. William Brown Says:

    Layne was one of the best singers that had ever lived. He will always be greatly missed. Then will never be another great like Layne Staley.

  96. Ken Thomson Says:

    Layne was a musical genius

  97. Eric Mario Hernandez Says:

    To an amazing and talent performer who left too soon. RIP. You are missed!

  98. Melanie Says:

    My heart aches whenever I hear Layne’s voice. I wish that you were still here.

  99. Tyler boyce Says:

    Layne you are/were The Best rock singer ever!!!! I only wish you could have beat your demons and stayed here to make more music!!! R.I.P BRO.

  100. Lily Says:

    Loved laynee and his music a legend always …x

  101. Jesse Says:

    “My bad habits aren’t my title. My strengths and my talent are my title.” Layne Staley
    RIP Layne

  102. Jessica Says:

    I, too, named my youngest son Layne, to honor a man who helped me so much without ever knowing it. Wherever Layne is now, I hope he knows that if i could have saved him, I would have. I understand his pain more than anyone can imagine and hope that he is finally at peace.

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  104. Boo Ya Says:

    What a loss. RIP Layne. I’m a huge fan.

  105. Amanda Says:

    You are missed, but I know now your not in pain anymore. Kurt said “It’s better the burn out then fade away… ” RIP LAYNE

  106. david williams Says:

    one of the greatest frontmen ever so much talent

  107. Chino De Leon Says:

    The Greatest soaring voice.ever.The greatest rock vocalist and a charismatic personality.greatly missed!

  108. Chino De Leon Says:

    “The Greatest soaring voice.ever.”The greatest rock vocalist and a charismatic personality.greatly missed!

  109. Lawayne Puckett Says:

    Layne was a great singer. He left this world way too soon. Rest in peace my brother. You will never be forgotton. Your legacy will remain. Turn the page…..

  110. Kip Says:

    No one will ever be as talented as you were .. Your lyrics were soo powerful and meant so much .. Love you Layne

  111. Lawayne Puckett Says:

    Rest in Peace Layne. You will live on forever through your music.

  112. WES HESTER Says:


  113. mariesa Says:

    Layne was a sweet & gentle soul.

  114. mariesa Says:

    Layne was a seet & gentle soul

  115. Danielle Says:

    As the years go by I often wonder what would have become of Layne…and how terrible his life must have been at the end…it boggles the mind to ponder how a man with so many family members, friends and fans could have been SO alone…it’s not right that he died alone…what a sad, sad end…thank you for letting us in through your music Layne…you were the last of your kind…and I choose not to remember the way that you died…but rather the way you lived…

  116. Dylan Bolte Says:

    “If I can’t be my own, I’d feel better dead.”
    as true today as when you spoke them in ’93. Thanks for the inspiration in writing and playing my own music. You were truley one of a kind Layne and there will never be another like you EVER!!! Hands down greatest vocalist to ever pick up the microphone. The one and ONLY vocalist for Alice in Chains. Thanks for all the years of Kicka** music and inspiration. Rest in Peace My brother, you are truley very sorely missed, and you will NEVER be forgotten as long as I’m around.

  117. mariesa Says:

    Layne was such a sweet soul,I will never forget him,he’ll always be in my heart.

  118. Alexandra Says:

    I love you and music sucks today, i wish you people were more inspired by your music then what they sing about today. Rest in peace darling <3

  119. Jackie Coleman Says:

    lane i have been playing … in the med.mind for a long time at least 13-too 19 years man and i dont know what happeded when i heard t=at 11:34 pm tue that you died along time ago.. really i cryed and i think between you and b-verele you have hepled me with sexual problems dead or alive im not crazy i really had no idea you werer deceaced but know now now now anytime to realize it i cant love
    love always.
    jackie elizabeth

  120. Jackie Coleman Says:

    its alreaby happened 1999 ive already sighned and repeated what i saw on others readinges i thing its a definitly repeaditive repeatingn of life i could type it but know piont ive just been herer already aaaa 3-not13/4 stupid aa–76 not 886 get me

  121. Colette p Says:

    Had not thought about laynes death for a long time…then found my old unplugged cd and now can’t stop thinking about him. How sad such great talent what a waste. I wish he could have saved himself. He was so alone at the end it sickens me that no one could reach him. Rip Layne miss you so much!

  122. Chris Thompson Says:

    Almost 10 years since the tragic death of Layne.One thing is for sure his music will live forever.RIP Layne

  123. jesse ramsey Says:

    grew up listening to Alice In Chains..still listen to them daily!!!!!!RIP Layne Staley

  124. Luis Says:

    Thank you for all the music and memories. Your music has influenced me and has helped me through many tough times ups and downs. You were an incredible talent and one of the greatest and unique rock vocalists of the 20th century. I love you

  125. Christian Rosacker Says:

    I’m a 14 year old boy and Layne Staley is my favorite Singer of all time. Although when I was five and i did not know you or know that you died i will always remember my dad playing Alice in Chains in the car. It was only 2 years ago that i discoved your amazing god like singing talents and your achivments with that talent have changed my life forever. Layne Staley is my most favorite singer of all time, and alice in chains is my most favorite band of all time. Although i just discovered that you died 2 years ago I will remember you as one of the most important people in my life even though i have never met you. Thank you for everything you have done you have changed my life forever. It breaks my heart so much that you are my favorite singer and i have never met you and now you are gone. R.I.P i hope you are using the peace you deserve after going through all of that. We miss you so much Layne Staley.

  126. James Says:

    Hard to believe it’s been ten years tomorrow, R.I.P. Layne

  127. Sherry Ann M Says:

    10 yrs later,we are still remembering a great voice unlike no other.We will always remember Layne and the entire group,”Alice in Chains”,without him,they would of never been the great band they were!XOXO R.I.P Layne:(

  128. Eric Says:

    Seems so sick..to the hypocrit norm…

  129. Eric Says:

    greatest singer to live…Why is there no place to visit a memorial to him…to celebrate his life and contribution to music and enrichment of our lives??

  130. Mariesa Huthwaite Says:

    Layne was an amazing person,he will always be remembered.

  131. Mariesa Huthwaite Says:

    Layne was an amazing person,he will be truly missed.

  132. cn Says:

    Amazing vocalist…sad life…Seattle needs a memorial

  133. Alicia Jordan Says:

    I’ve carried his music with me since I was 6yrs old,I’m now 26.I constantly think about the greater good his music is doing.It got me through the best n worst times.It changed my life in so many ways & I couldn’t thank alice n chains enough for it.

  134. Austin Says:

    Very young guy,Just couldnt beat the problem.

  135. Elizabeth Says:

    We will never forget you. You were beautiful inside and out. We love you Layne

  136. steven murphy Says:

    layne your voice is like no other. its up there with Ozzy and Ronnie James Dio” when they first came out’ they were terrible live. and but as the years gone by they worked on there Sound. And song Writing witch became there Best effort to Date’ but Jar Of Flies was a little more Radio Friendly Album But’ My Favorite song of all time is on the Mini EP’ Drugs Got him in the end” ive been there” and its too bad’ he wasetn strong enough” the human mind and body can take a beating he just couldnt find himself” its to bad” i blame is Friend and family” throw him in Prison” for 2 years’ and hire the best of people to keep hi eye on him” he would be alive today

  137. Jason Thomas Says:

    you had the greatset voice i have ever heard and your lyrics will always be in my mind…..RIP Layne

  138. Christopher Seegars Says:

    Layne Thomas Staley, as I listen to songs like “Nutshell”, “Am I Inside”, and “River Of Deceit”, I feel as if you were talking to me. When I write music and songs, I see your inspiration coming out, and you are an awesome dude…I’m thankful to have had ran across the band Alice In Chains during my life, because your inspiration lives on…I will lovingly carry that inspiration, and you my dear friend, brother…Will always be remembered greatly not for what you were, but who you were…Rest in Peace bro.

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