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Sunday, 21 April, 2002, 09:50 GMT 10:50 UK
Alice in Chains singer found dead
Layne Staley
Staley's band had recorded seven albums
Layne Staley, singer and guitarist with the American grunge band Alice in Chains, has been found dead at his flat in Seattle.

Staley factfile
1967: Born in Kirkland, WA
1987: Alice in Chains founded
1990: Debut album Facelift released
1990: We Die Young is top five metal single
1995: Album Alice in Chains tops Billboard chart
1996: Band nominated for best MTV hard rock video award
Tests had to be performed to confirm the identity of the body, which was found on Friday in a state of decomposition.

Fans have been leaving flowers on the steps of the building where 34-year-old Staley lived, and have held a vigil in Seattle.

His death comes eight years after Kurt Cobain, leader of Seattle's best-known rock band Nirvana, killed himself.

Local medical officials said that the cause of Staley's death had yet to be determined.

"It was natural or an overdose - that's the way it was determined by our investigators,'' Seattle police spokesman Duane Fish told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Fear of death

Staley was born in 1967 in Kirkland Washington, just east of Seattle.

Rest in peace, Layne.
Layne Staley, 1967-2002

Alice in Chains website
Alice in Chains were founded in 1987.

They ranked with Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden as one of the bands that made Seattle famous in the early 1990s.

They recorded seven albums, including a Billboard number one in 1995.

The band stopped touring in the mid-1990s when Staley went into rehabilitation for heroin use.

The front page of the Alice in Chains website on Sunday read simply: "Rest in peace, Layne. Layne Staley, 1967-2002."

Cobain was another Seattle rock casualty
About 200 fans turned out on Saturday for an impromptu vigil at the Seattle Center, leaving flowers and notes, and lighting candles.

Among them was Chad Schuster, a 21-year-old student at the University of Washington.

Despite Staley's problems with drugs, the singer was an inspiration for many, Mr Schuster said.

"He was open about his drug problem and his struggles with life, and I think a lot of people can relate to that."

'Scared of death'

Staley told Rolling Stone magazine that lyrics about heroin use came from his own experience.

"They worked for me for years, and now they're turning against me - and now I'm walking through hell, and this sucks," he said in 1996.

He said that he would never think of committing suicide.

I'm scared of death, especially death by my own hand," he said.

"At the end of the day or at the end of the party, when everyone goes home, you're stuck with yourself."

The BBC's Tim Johnston
"Alice in Chains was at the cutting edge of the grunge rock phenomenon"

Alice in Chains
Send your tributes to singer Layne Staley
See also:

27 Feb 02 | Showbiz
Cobain diaries 'find publisher'
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