Mark Lanegan, the lead vocalist of Screaming Trees and former member of Queens of the Stone Age, has died at 57. “Our beloved friend Mark Lanegan passed away this morning at his home in Killarney, Ireland,” a statement from Lanegan’s official Twitter account reads. “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. We ask Please respect the family privacy.”
Born in 1964 in Ellensberg, Washington, Lanegan co-founded Screaming Trees in the mid-1980s alongside Van Conner, Gary Lee Conner, and Mark Pickerel. The band became grunge pioneers, finding success in the Pacific Northwest scene that also included Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam. They released their debut album, Clairvoyance, in 1986. After three LPs with SST Records, the band moved to the major label Epic Records for the 1991 record Uncle Anesthesia, which was co-produced by Terry Date and Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell. Its follow-up, 1992’s Sweet Oblivion, spawned Screaming Trees’ biggest hit, ‘Nearly Lost You’, which featured on the Singles soundtrack.
By that point, Lanegan had already embarked on a solo career, releasing his first solo album, The Winding Sheet, in 1990 via Sub Pop. It included collaborations with Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic. He followed it up with 1994’s Whiskey For the Holy Ghost and went on to release a series of solo albums that featured notable contributors including J Mascis, PJ Harvey, Joshua Homme, Greg Dulli, and more. Screaming Trees broke up in 2000, four years after the release of their final album, Dust.
Lanegan continued working with Josh Homme, who was a touring guitarist for Screaming Trees for some time in the mid-90s, becoming a regular contributor to Queens of the Age albums. He first appeared on 2000’s Rated R and continued recording with the band through 2013’s Like Clockwork. Lanegan’s most recent solo LP was 2020’s Straight Songs of Sorrow. That same year, he published a memoir, Sing Backwards and Weep.