Layne Staley (vocals) fronted the grunge band Alice in Chains from its inception in 1987, until around 1996, when the band went their seperate ways, with Layne being the only member of the band not to pursue further musical exploits. (Bassist Mike Inez later joined Ozzy Osbourne's touring band; guitarist Jerry Cantrell released a solo record (Boggy Depot) in 1998; drummer Sean Kinney played drums on Cantrell's record.) Cantrell's solo record was, by all accounts, actually an AIC record, however neither Cantrell nor any of his bandmates or producers could persuade Staley to work on the project, hence Cantrell releasing it as himself rather than AIC.
Layne was part of a side project, Mad Season, which also inclded Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready. Mad Season released one album, Above, in 1995.
He was found dead in his Seattle home on Friday, April 19, 2002, reportedly of a lethal mixture of cocaine and heroin. Coroners were summoned to his residence on April 19, 2002 (two weeks after his death) and found him surrounded by various drug paraphernalia. Apparently the cause of death was from an overdose brought on by taking a speedball. He had been out of the music industry altogether since 1996, apart from an AIC contribution to a compilation CD released in 1998. He was 34.
Layne Staley was born in Kirkland, Washington, USA, on August 22, 1967. Like so many other rockstars, Layne became a heavy drug user once AIC shot to stardom. It is known that he heavily favoured marijuana, though he evidently did not limit himself to smoking phatties. While grunge has been in the throes of stagnation for several years, Layne's death was probably the grunge scene's biggest shocker/attention-getter since Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain committed suicide on April 5, 1994, or, to a lesser degree, Blind Melon frontman Shannon Hoon's death by heroin overdose on October 21, 1995.
August 22, 1967--April 5, 2002
Source: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/69413_staley07.shtml (thanks iocane)