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March 10, 2011  | by: Dania McDermott

Mike Starr (1966-2011)

Mike Starr, the original bassist for 90′s mega-band, Alice in Chains, died this Tuesday of what is euphemistically being touted “unknown causes.”

As anyone with knowledge of Alice in Chains, the rock star lifestyle, or VH1′s programming already knew, the once famous musician has struggled publicly with drug addiction issues for many years, losing his enviable role in one of the 90′s most influential bands as a result.

Having appeared on Dr. Drew Pinsky’s reality hits, Celebrity Rehab 3, Sober House 2, and most recently, Celebrity Rehab 4, the news still manages to come as somewhat of a shock.

Starr, who’d sent waves of relief through his peers and concerned staff members by taking heed of Drew’s suggestion to continue ongoing treatment, seemed to be doing well: Appearing on the most recent season of Celebrity Rehab to speak about his struggles with staying sober to the current set of afflicted celebs, he reported ongoing (albeit, difficult) success with sobriety. And based on his indisputably improved appearance, we had no choice but to believe him.

But like many plagued with addiction before him, the 44-year-old musician fell suddenly off the sober train and was sadly unable to board the next one in time. As Drew tweeted affectionately, it is “devastating to hear of Mike Starr succumbing to his illness.”

So while we mourn the loss of yet another of our beloved rock stars gone astray, let’s push his troubles to the back burner, crank up “Man in the Box,” and appreciate the gift of music he’s given us. After all, at one point in time, the man could bass his ass off.

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