Grunge Rocker Mark Lanegan Dead At 57

By Steven Friederich Reportersteven - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Queens of the Stone Age frontman Mark Lanegan died at the age of 57 after a debilitating battle with COVID-19 last year.

Though Lanegan’s official cause of death has not been released, he reportedly suffered from kidney disease and was hospitalized in 2021 with a severe case of COVID-19. The singer ended up in a coma, and upon waking, temporarily lost the ability to walk and hear. 

“Our beloved friend Mark Lanegan passed away this morning at his home in Killarney, Ireland,” a statement read on Twitter. “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. The family asks everyone to respect their privacy at this time.” 

Lanegan rose to prominence with his hard-rock band Screaming Trees, when a single from their debut record became a smash hit in the early 1990s. “Nearly Lost You” topped the charts when it was featured in Cameron Crowe’s movie “Singles” starring Bridget Fonda and Matt Dillon.  

The singer-songwriter battled narcotic addictions that led to the break up of his band. He did several stints in rehab, going in and out of treatment after his arm became so infected from injecting heroin, that it almost had to be amputated in 1992.

He credited Nirvana widow Courtney Love, whose husband Kurt Cobain tragically committed suicide after years of drug abuse, of saving his life in 2010, when she paid for his year-long rehab program.  

Langemen launched a solo career that produced 11 studio albums, and eventually joined American rock band Queens of The Stoneage for five albums from 2000-2013. His final album, Dark Mark vs. Skeleton Joe, a collaborative effort with former The Icarus Line member Joe Cardamone, was released in October 2021.

Tributes to the rockstar have poured in from fellow grunge-era musicians. “Terribly saddened to hear the news of the passing of Mark Lanegan. A very gifted artist blessed with honey dipped tones, gone far too soon,” Shirley Manson’s band Garbage tweeted.

“I can’t process this,” wrote The Velvet Underground’s John Cale. “Mark Lanegan will always be etched in my heart—as he surely touched so many with his genuine self, no matter the cost, true to the end.

“He was such a good man, and friend to my family,” posted Guns N’ Roses’ Duff McKagan.

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