Mark Lanegan, Screaming Trees Singer and Prolific Grunge Vocalist, Dead at 57

Photo: Sylvain Lefevre/Hans Lucas/Redux

Mark Lanegan, a rock singer with a career spanning nearly four decades, died on February 22 at 57 years old, his publicist confirmed. No cause of death was revealed. Lanegan grew up in Washington and began his career in Screaming Trees, becoming a key figure in the grunge scene known for his commanding, gravelly voice. The band’s major-label debut, 1991’s Uncle Anesthesia, was produced by grunge legend Chris Cornell. The follow-up album, Sweet Oblivion, produced Screaming Trees’ biggest hit, “Nearly Lost You,” known for its inclusion on the Singles soundtrack. Around the same time, Lanegan began his solo career with the 1990 album The Winding Sheet, which features contributions from Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic. Screaming Trees released their final album, Dust, in 1996 and broke up in 2000.

Josh Homme joined Screaming Trees around Dust, and after the band broke up, Lanegan began working with Homme on his band, Queens of the Stone Age. Lanegan contributed vocals to 2000’s Rated R and began writing and performing lead vocals on the follow-up, Songs for the Deaf, in 2002. He continued to work with Queens of the Stone Age through 2013’s … Like Clockwork. At the same time, Lanegan continued his solo career, releasing over a dozen albums under his own name, most recently 2020’s Straight Songs of Sorrow. Lanegan also released a memoir that year: Sing Backwards and Weep. In December, he followed up the project with Devil in a Coma, a combination of prose and poetry detailing his experience with COVID-19.

Mark Lanegan, Prolific Grunge Vocalist, Dead at 57