Entertainment & Arts

Mike Starr, former Alice in Chains bassist, dies at 44

Former Alice in Chains bass player Mike Starr has been found dead at a house in Salt Lake City. He was 44.

Police said officers responded to a call on Tuesday about a possible body at the residence but added there was no sign of foul play involved.

Starr was the original bassist when the band formed in 1987, but left in 1993.

In a statement, the group said members were "mourning the loss of their friend and ask that the media respect their privacy during this difficult time".

It was not immediately clear who owned the home Starr was found in, nor who phoned the police.

The medical examiner's office will conduct a post-mortem examination on Wednesday, but the results of toxicology tests could take up to two months.

The bassist left the band shortly after the release of its breakthrough 1992 album Dirt, while his former bandmates went on to greater success.

The group took numerous breaks due to the drug problems of lead singer Layne Staley, who later died of an overdose in 2002.

Starr went public with his own drug problems in 2010 when he appeared on the VH1 reality show Celebrity Rehab which followed his treatment for heroin addiction.

Last month the musician was arrested in Salt Lake City on an outstanding warrant related to an earlier drugs charge, and on suspicion of carrying unauthorised prescription medications.

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