Mark Lanegan Dead At 57
Mark Lanegan has died at 57. “Our beloved friend Mark Lanegan passed away this morning at his home in Killarney, Ireland,” a statement sent from Lanegan’s official Twitter account reads. “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.”
Lanegan was born in 1964 in Ellensberg, Washington. He formed Screaming Trees in 1985 — alongside Van Conner, Gary Lee Conner, and Mark Pickerel (who was later replaced by Barrett Martin) — and the band became early grunge pioneers. They released their debut album, Clairvoyance, in 1986, and would go on to release three albums with SST Records. They made the jump to a major-label with their Epic Records debut Uncle Anesthesia in 1991, which was co-produced by Terry Date and Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell and came out just as the grunge wave was cresting in the US. The band’s follow-up to that album, 1992’s Sweet Oblivion, would produce Screaming Trees’ biggest commercial hit in “Nearly Lost You,” which appeared on the Singles soundtrack.
By that time, Lanegan had already embarked on a solo career with the well-received 1990 debut The Winding Sheet, which featured contributions from Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic. Lanegan followed that up with another solo album, 1994’s Whiskey For The Holy Ghost. Tensions within Lanegan’s main band had grown strained by then and, after releasing their final album Dust in 1996, Screaming Trees broke up not too long after.
Lanegan kept going on his own, though, releasing a string of solo albums throughout the ’90s and beyond — his most recent one was 2020’s Straight Songs Of Sorrow. He also released collaborative albums with Duke Garwood, Belle And Sebastian’s Isobel Campbell, and the Afghan Whigs’ Greg Dulli, who he teamed up with as the Gutter Twins. He also worked with Josh Homme, who got his big break by playing rhythm guitar for Screaming Trees on tour in the mid-90s. Lanegan regularly contributed to Queens Of The Age albums — he first appeared on 2000’s Rated R and continued recording with them through 2013’s Like Clockwork.
In 2020, Lanegan released a memoir, Sing Backwards And Weep.