Mike Starr: Former bandmates, friends pay tribute to late Alice in Chains bassist

Mike-StarrImage Credit: Marty Temme/WireImage.comThe sad passing yesterday of 44-year-old Mike Starr, a founding member of  ’90s grunge icons Alice in Chains, has prompted a stream of remembrances from his friends, family, and former bandmates, as well as rock contemporaries like Bret Michaels and Slash.

Though Starr’s cause of death is still unknown, his past struggles with heroin—and his arrest for prescription-pill possesion last month in Salt Lake City—are reflected in many of the statements, including a tweet from former Guns ‘n’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum, who posted “Drugs and Alcohol aren’t a joke. Please take care of yourself and respect yourself. We lost Mike Starr today Rest in Peace man.” Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx also tweeted: “RIP Mike Starr. Another fallen soldier to addiction.”

From Avenged Sevenfold’s former drummer Mike Portnoy’s Twitter: “RIP Mike Starr… I watched his struggle on Celebrity Rehab and had my fingers crossed for his recovery. This disease kills… sad stuff.”

Dr. Drew, who treated Starr on Rehab‘s third season and its spin-off Sober House, tweeted “Devastating to hear of Mike Starr succumbing to his illness. So very sad. Our prayers are with his family,”

Starr’s father called his son’s death “a terrible shock and tragedy,” while Starr’s onetime AIC mates Jerry Cantrell and Sean Kinney released a statement that read: “Jerry and Sean are mourning the loss of their friend and ask that the media respect their privacy—and the privacy of Mike’s family—during this difficult time. Their thoughts and prayers are with the Starr family.”

Starr was preceded in death by AIC frontman Layne Staley, who lost his longtime battle with heroin addiction in 2002.

More on EW.com:
Former Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr, who appeared on ‘Celebrity Rehab,’ dies

Comments (39 total) Add your comment
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  • Colin

    Sad story. Talk about a band that has faced more heartbreak than others.

    • denise

      prayers go out to the family,i saw mike on celebrity rehab my heart went out to him,i feel really sad for him and the family god bless

  • halo

    RIP Mike and RIP Layne
    Will ALWAYS miss you.

    Stay away from H kids!!!!!!!!

  • UGH

    Just have to add that Mike Portnoy was dumped from Avenged Sevenfold last year. Complete drama-queen. Left a great band in Dream Theater to pursue “other interests” then tried to crawl back to them and was rejected. I don’t believe his condolence he gave for Mike just because he’s such an attention-wh*re.
    RIP Mike Starr

    • yea but also Mike Portnoy IS DREAM THEATER

      so maybe u should chill with the hate you cas poser

      • eric

        Mike Portnoy IS NO LONGER DREAM THEATER, idiot.

      • AC

        COME ON GROW THE F**K UP!!!

  • Jason

    If you can get a hold of a copy, he did a biography a few years back that was pretty straight-forward about tackling his demons and leaving AIC.

  • nancy blackburn

    I just heard about Mike’s passing. I was totally shocked. I watched him on celebrity rehab and was really hoping that his life had just started after leaving sober house. I felt very bad for him struggleing on the show and could tell he was a kind person with a terrible problem. Seems we hear about celebs passings often. Hearing about Mike hit me hard because I honestly wanted him to make it. Bless his heart and soul..

  • D-Man

    RIP Mike, you made some great music with AIC that will live on forever!!!

  • Michael Monahan

    I fist saw AIC when they opened up VERY early on in their career for Extreme of all bands. It was at a little club in Oakland, CA and nobody around here knew who AIC was at the time. They ruled the show, obviously overshadowing the headlining band. I became an instant fan and still have one of the free video tapes they pitched out to the crowd from the stage. I can still picture Layne spinning and flipping his dread locks around on stage that night. I met the band after the show and recently rediscovered the dollar bill that I had them all sign. Sorry to ramble on, just wanted to share the beginning of my personal journey with the band. How many greats do we have to lose to this monster of a drug. Rock ‘N Roll heaven grew a little sweeter; RIP Mike.

    • chris

      thanks for sharing michael m. cool memories

    • etm

      Yes, a nice story. I love AIC and am so sad to hear this news.

  • joe momma

    Ever listen to AIC? It makes you want to shoot heroin!

    • Kelly

      stop being so negative man – go away. If you didn’t like the band, then don’t comment!

      • chele

        I agree. It’s one thing to dislike a band, but it’s quite another (and an inappropriate) thing to trash the band by making snarky, juvenile remarks about them in a forum accompanying a story about the bass player’s death at such a young age. Some people are so trashy and ignorant that it’s disheartening. I happen to really like Alice in Chains, but really, that’s neither here nor there. I remember seeing Mike Starr on “Celebrity Rehab” and thinking that he seemed like a really, really nice guy.I was really rooting for him and hoping for him to have made a recovery, but sadly, that was not to be. I’m so sorry for his friends and family. Rest in Peace, Mike Starr. I know you will be greatly missed by those ho knew you.

    • tyler watterson

      what the f*ck do u know about slammin dope. just shut ur god dam mouth.

      • tyler watterson

        that was for joe mommas smart ass

  • Spendlove

    RIP Mike Starr, you went way before your time..

  • Todd West

    RIP Mike, glad to have met and got to jam with you a few times. Thinking of you and those times tonight…

  • frederick

    Saw them open for Van Halen on an arena tour. Hardly anyone was even there to watch them play (and overshadow Van Hagar). Saw them again at Lollapalooze and again on the Dirt tour in an old gym at Univ of Maryland w/ Screaming Trees and Gruntruck. Awesome show. Now, half the guys (and girls) from my favorite 90s bands are all dead. Drugs are just not worth it, kids.

    • mkaffeine

      I saw AIC on their Dirt tour, too. What an awesome show. Their records still hold up.

  • akri

    Another one bites the dust and for what?? Life’s so short to take it for granted with drinking and drugs..it’s sad b/c he was so young but I really don’t feel sorry for anyone who does that to themselves on purpose.

    • M&M

      “I really don’t feel sorry for anyone who does that to themselves on purpose”

      Do you even understand the nature of addiction???

      • Karey

        It’s a very sad time for me hearing this I know someone who gets a script of opanas, another freaky thing is Micheal died on my friend’s birthdy, and he was born on my daughter’s. Someone already said”heaven just got a littl sweeter”

  • JB

    Mike Were all gona miss ya Bro…

  • bones

    Drugs are worth it in moderation. Everyone has to over do it with everything. If you only knew how to have soem self control we all would be fine. Its idiots like this who ruin it for the rest of us.

    • BeBe

      Drugs in Moderation? Not possible! Seems like you may need help “Bones”

      • Josh

        I disagree. I’ve done many drugs in my time, and never got addicted to anything. I don’t even smoke weed or drink any more, and it was not a problem for me to quit doing either, because moderation is key.

    • mother with broken heart

      Agreed- just keep buying the lies – there is no such thing as drugs in moderation. Unless you need it for a medical reason why in the world would you even need to take them…try finding another way to deal with reality.

  • me

    Mike’s father’s statement is too little too late. If you watched the first episode of the show you could see that Mike and his father were both homeless and living in a van doing meth all day. Great parenting, dad!

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