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Mark Lanegan passes away, aged 57

Mark Lanegan
(Image credit: Jordi Vidal/Redferns via Getty Images)

Singer-songwriter Mark Lanegan has died at the age of 57, a statement on his official Twitter account has confirmed.

'Our beloved friend Mark Lanegan passed away this morning at his home in Killarney, Ireland," writes the statement posted today (22 February) on Twitter and Facebook. 'A beloved singer, songwriter, author and musician he was 57 and is survived by his wife Shelley.  No other information is available at this time. We ask please respect the family privacy.'

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Lanegan's storied career as a musician includes singer with Screaming Trees, a long and consistently impressive solo career and a host of collaborations with artists including Greg Dulli, Queens Of The Stone Age, PJ Harvey, J Mascis, Mad Season, Isobel Campbell, UNKLE, Rob Marshall, Moby, Soulsavers and Duke Garwood. He leaves a rich legacy of work. 

Screaming Trees formed in 1984 with Lanegan, brothers Gary Lee and Van Conner or guitar and bass, plus Mark Pickerel on drums. Pickerel would later be replaced by Skin Yard drummer Barrett Martin for their 1992 album Sweet Oblivion. This record that saw Lanegan's songwriting collaboration with Gary Lee Conner reach new creative and commercial heights as the Washington band found themselves in the global eye fixed on the Seattle scene. 

Lanegan would also appear on grunge supergroup Mad Season's only album Above, alongside bandmate Martin and Alice In Chains singer Layne Staley and Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready.

Screaming Trees took four years to follow Sweet Oblivion up, and 1996's Dust failed to match its predecessor's sales despite proving to be a creative and critical success. 

Screaming Tree split in 2000, and acrimony between the Conner brothers and Lanegan meant they would never collaborate again. But the singer was already four records into a solo career by the turn of the decade and released his fifth, Field Songs, in 2001 featuring Duff McKagan and Soundgarden's Ben Shepherd.

This spirit of collaboration was a cornerstone of Lanegan's career. "Even when I'm making my own solo records I'm collaborating with people," he told us in 2013. "It keeps things interesting for me."

In 2002 he was part of Queens Of The Stone Age alongside Josh Homme and Dave Grohl for the breakthrough album Songs For The Deaf, singing lead vocals on the songs Hangin' Tree, Song for the Dead, God Is In The Radio and Song for the Deaf. He was also part of the lineup for 2005's Lullabies To Paralyze. 

His prolific output continued with collaborations with former Belle & Sebastian vocalist Isobel Campbell and The Gutter Twins with Afghan Whigs man Greg Dulli. He would go on to record albums with electronic duo Soulsavers and and the 2013 album Black Pudding with Duke Garwood. 

In addition to releasing a brace of acclaimed solo albums in recent years, Lanegan was encouraged by friend Anthony Bourdain to expand his creative output into the literary world. He released three books and his candid 2020 memoir, Sing Backwards and Weep, detailed struggles with alcoholism and heroin addiction through the 1990s and 2000s and his reflections on losing friends Kurt Cobain and Staley to addiction. 

Last year's follow-up memoir Devil In A Coma detailed Lanegan's experiences after contracting COVID-19 and his recovery at Kerry Hospital in Ireland in 2021. 

Mark Lanegan - 9 albums that changed my life: "If any record ever truly saved me, it was this one"

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