TMZ is reporting that former Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr has died at the age of 44; according to law-enforcement sources, Starr’s body was discovered in a house in Salt Lake City earlier this afternoon.
Starr was a founding member of the Seattle doom-grunge band, and he remained part of the group through the release of its second full-length, 1992′s Dirt. In 1993 he left the band, and he revealed during his stint on the third season of VH1′s Celebrity Rehab that he was asked to depart because of his addictions to various narcotics.
Last month, Starr was arrested in Utah and charged with possession of controlled substances, which included the painkiller Opana and the anti-anxiety drug alprazalam. He was also booked on a 2003 sentencing warrant for another drug-related conviction.
Starr is the second founding member of Alice in Chains to pass away in the past 10 years. Original Alice in Chains lead singer Layne Staley died from a drug overdose in April 2002; on an episode of Celebrity Rehab, Starr said that he had been with Staley right before he died, and that the two of them had fought during that meeting.
“Devastating to hear of Mike Starr succumbing to his illness,” head Celebrity Rehab doctor Drew Pinsky tweeted. “So very sad. Our prayers are with his family.”