Mark Lanegan, the frontman of Screaming Trees and a former member of Queens of the Stone Age, died Tuesday at his home in Killarney, Ireland. He was 57.
“A beloved singer, songwriter, author and musician he was 57 and is survived by his wife Shelley,” a statement posted to Lanegan’s Twitter account said. “No other information is available at this time.”
Lanegan, known for his deep, gruff voice, was an early pioneer of the grunge movement out of the Pacific Northwest. He co-founded Screaming Trees in Ellensburg, Washington, in the mid-1980s, around the same time that groups like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden formed.
Screaming Trees released its first album in 1986, and while the band never reached the stratospheric heights of others in the grunge era, it hit the top 10 on Billboard’s Modern Rock charts with songs including “Nearly Lost You” and “All I Know.”
Lanegan went on to have a successful solo career in the 1990s, releasing a debut album with Sub Pop Records that included a collaboration with Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. He later joined the roster of Queens of the Stone Age and was part of the band as it earned two Grammy nominations.
In an interview with Rolling Stone in 2020, Lanegan spoke about the difficulties in his past, including struggles with drug addiction and the death of Cobain, a close friend. He wrote in his memoir that he was haunted after missing calls from Cobain before his death, throwing himself into his addictions before an intervention from Cobain’s widow, Courtney Love.
“I remember Courtney leaving me a letter saying, ‘Kurt loved you as a big brother and would have wanted you to live. The world needs you to live,’” he told the magazine. “That was powerful because I hadn’t done any good for anybody in years.”
Over the last decade, Lanegan was prolific, collaborating with the likes of Neko Case and Marianne Faithfull and co-writing the theme song for Anthony Bourdain’s show “Parts Unknown.”