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OTRC: Alice in Chains members mourn Mike Starr, who dies at age 44

Mike Starr, former bass player for Alice in Chains, was found dead at age 44 on March 8, 2011 after years of battling drug addiction. (Pictured: Mike Starr appears on the VH1 reality show 'Celebrity Rehab' in January 2010.) (VH1)

Former Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr was recently found dead in Salt Lake City at age 44, a year after he spoke about his drug addiction on the reality show "Celebrity Rehab."

Starr's death also comes nine years after the hard rock band's singer Layne Staley, who also battled substance abuse, died in 2002.

"Members of Alice in Chains are mourning the loss of their friend and ask that the media respect their privacy - and the privacy of Mike's family - during this difficult time," said a message on the band's website, which was posted on Wednesday, March 9. "Their thoughts and prayers are with the Starr family."

Police found Starr's body at a house in Salt Lake City on Tuesday. They do not suspect foul play. An autopsy is set to be made and results of toxicology tests could take weeks to be published.

Starr recorded music with Alice in Chains in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He left the band soon after the release of its 1992 album "Dirt," which contained the songs "Hate to Feel" and "Junkhead," which are both about drug abuse. Staley was found dead in 2002 after a battle with drug addiction in an apartment in Seattle.

Starr was arrested in Salt Lake City in February on suspicion of felony possession of a controlled substance and was said to have carried unauthorized prescription drugs.

In 2010, he appeared on "Celebrity Rehab," a VH1 reality show hosted by Dr. Drew Pinsky. Starr said on the show that he and his father often did drugs together and that he has been an addict for 17 years.

"If I got these drugs out of my life, maybe I'd do all kinds of other things," Starr said on the show. "I'd like to play some music again. It'd be really nice to get anther band and get out there."

Alice in Chains drummer Sean Kinney told Pennsylvania radio station WMMR at the time that the series "makes entertainment out of people's possible death, and that's pathetic and it's stupid. So I don't support that show at all and I think it's pretty disgusting. But Mike getting his life together or anybody doing that, I'll support that."

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