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Alice in Chains Rocker, Celebrity Rehab Patient Mike Starr Dead at 44

Mike Starr VH1

Mike Starr's demons tragically caught up with him.

The original bassist for Alice in Chains was found dead Tuesday in Utah. He was 44. Cause of death has not yet been released.

Starr, who battled drug addiction, appeared on the third season of Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew in 2009 and gave a testimonial marking six months and seven days of sobriety during season four.

But his latest run-in with the law implied that he had hit a roadblock in his recovery.

GALLERY: Celebrity Deaths in 2011

Starr was arrested last month in Salt Lake City on suspicion of felony possession of a controlled substance for allegedly having six Xanax pills and six tablets of the painkiller Opana.

"Devastating to hear of Mike Starr succumbing to his illness. So very sad. Our prayers are with his family," Dr. Drew Pinsky tweeted this afternoon.

Starr, who was born in Honolulu, played in Seattle with Jerry Cantrell and Sean Kinney as the glam band Diamond Lie, which later morphed into Alice in Chains with the addition of Layne Staley.

Their first studio EP was 1990's We Die Young.

Starr left the band in 1993 while they were touring with Ozzy Osbourne and was replaced by Mike Inez. Starr mentioned during his time on Celebrity Rehab that he had been booted from Alice in Chains because of his drug problem.

Inez was the one to reunite with Cantrell and Kinney in 2005 for a benefit concert for victims of the tsunami in South Asia. Staley died of a drug overdose in 2002.

"I totally back Mike and I back his efforts to get clean and remain somebody that I and the band really care about—he's a friend of ours, you know, and we wish him the best," Cantrell wrote in the liner notes to the band's 2009 album Black Gives Way to Blue.

(Originally published March 8, 2011, at 4:06 p.m. PT)

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