Original Alice in Chains frontman Layne Staley passed away 15 years ago today, his demise sadly coming as no great surprise to those who knew him or had followed his career. Though he actually started out as a drummer, Staley shifted to lead vocals in , when he joined Sleze, a metal band made up of kids from a couple of Seattle-area high schools. He was much more timid — he looked down while he sang, but the grain of his voice was there, the soul was there. While this high-energy performance — included as a bonus in the Blu-ray release of the film — shows Staley and his compadres completely dominating the stage that night, Crowe told Entertainment Weekly in that the execs at Warner Bros. From Alice in Chains! While such an injury might have sidelined other bands, the group simply pressed on with their singer in a cast. When Alice in Chains taped their appearance on MTV Unplugged in the spring of , it marked the first time since January that all four members of the band had appeared together on the same stage. Sadly, Staley would only make a handful of live appearances after this.
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The band took its name from Staley's previous group, the glam metal band Alice N' Chains. Although widely associated with grunge music, Alice in Chains' sound incorporates heavy metal elements. The band is known for its distinctive vocal style,  which often included the harmonized vocals between Staley and Cantrell  and later Cantrell and DuVall. Alice in Chains rose to international fame as part of the grunge movement of the early s, along with other Seattle bands such as Nirvana , Pearl Jam , and Soundgarden. Although never officially disbanding, Alice in Chains was plagued by extended inactivity from onward, due to Staley's substance abuse , which resulted in his death in The band toured in , with DuVall taking over as lead vocalist full-time. Alice in Chains have sold over 30 million records worldwide,  and over 14 million records in the US alone. Since its formation, Alice in Chains has released six studio albums, three EPs, three live albums, four compilations, two DVDs, 43 music videos,   and 32 singles. Before the formation of Alice in Chains, then-drummer   Layne Staley landed his first gig as a vocalist when he auditioned to sing for a local glam metal band known as Sleze after receiving some encouragement from his stepbrother Ken Elmer.