Mark Lanegan, known for helping define grunge in the 1980s as the frontman for Screaming Trees and his later work with Queens of the Stone Age, has died. He was 57.

“Our beloved friend Mark Lanegan passed away this morning at his home in Killarney, Ireland,” a representative for Lanegan said in a statement. “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.”

Though he never gained the same profile as Kurt Cobain or Chris Cornell, Lanegan gave a voice to the rising rock movement that emerged in the Pacific Northwest in the mid-1980s. After forming in 1984, Screaming Trees helped usher in the new melding of heavy metal and punk rock with its 1986 debut Clairvoyance. Lanegan’s raspy, scorned voice defined the sound for a scene that would produce acts like Pearl JamAlice In Chains, and more.

After releasing seven albums in ten years, Screaming Trees went on a hiatus in 1996. By that time, Lanegan already had two solo albums to his name and was working on a third, 1998’s Scraps At Midnight. Screaming Trees never regained their momentum and in 2000 officially disbanded.

Shortly thereafter, Lanegan joined the ever-rotating lineup for Queens of the Stone Age. Sharing singing duties with bandleader Josh Homme—who toured with Screaming Trees as their guitarist in 1996—Lanegan was present during the band’s commercial breakthrough. His tenure in the group lasted from 2000’s Rated R through 2002’s Songs for the Deaf and ended with 2005’s Lullabies to Paralyze. In that time he earned two Grammy nominations with the band in 2002 and 2003.

Lanegan would release 12 solo albums over a 30-year solo career, with the most recent—Straight Songs of Sorrow—arriving in 2020. That same year, Lanegan released a memoir Sing Backwards and Weep, a gritty remembrance of his time as a singer and drug addict in the 1980s and 1990s. In March 2021, Lanegan was hospitalized for months as he battled COVID-19. During that time he penned another memoir, Devil in a Coma, released in December.

While Screaming Trees never achieved marquee success even during grunge’s most prolific era, Lanegan was admired by those who did. Cobain appeared on Lanegan’s 1990 solo debut, The Winding Sheet, lending his voice to “Where Did You Sleep Last Night?” and “Down In The Dark“. Eddie Vedder—frontman for perhaps grunge’s most lasting act, Pearl Jam—took a couple of minutes out of his concert in Seattle on Tuesday to pay tribute to an inspiration.

“I got here about four o’clock and all of a sudden my body started shaking a little bit,” Vedder told the audience. “I started to feel really terrible and I think it was because I was having an allergic reaction to sadness. Because we lost … there’s a guy called Mark Lanegan. You know, there are a lot of really great musicians, some people know Seattle because of the musicians that have come out of the great Northwest. Some of those guys were one-of-a-kind singers. Mark was certainly that and with such a strong voice.”

Vedder added: “It’s hard to come to terms, at least at this point. He’s gonna be deeply missed, and at least we will always have his voice to listen to and his words and his books to read, he wrote two incredible books in the last few years. Just wanted to process it and put it out there, let his wife and loved ones know that people in his old stomping grounds have been thinking about him and we love him.”

Eddie Vedder pays tribute to the late Mark Lanegan – Seattle, WA – 2/22/22

[Video: PearlJamOnline]

Many more musicians have come forward to offer tributes to Lanegan, including Iggy PopJohn CalePeter Hook, his former Screaming Trees bandmate Mark Pickerel, and more.

“It’s kind of hard, to think that your music is something that affects other people the way that the music you loved affected you,” Lanegan said on the 2019 podcast Come To Where I’m From.

[H/T The New York Times]