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Staley's Death Ruled an O.D.

May 8, 2002 12:00 AM ET

Layne Staley's death has been ruled a drug overdose by the King County, Washington, Medical Examiner's office. According to the coroner's report, the thirty-four-year-old Alice in Chains frontman died on April 5th shortly after injecting a dose of heroin and cocaine. Staley's decomposed body wasn't discovered until two weeks later.

Staley's battles with heroin addiction were well documented, both in his music and in a 1996 Rolling Stone cover story. "If I'm staying busy, and if I'm getting my job done, and I'm doing things I think are great, then I don't have a problem with anything," Staley said at the time. "[Drugs] worked for me for years, and now they're turning against me -- and now I'm walking through hell."

The singer's family requested that any donations be made to Bellevue, Washington's Eastside Recovery Center.

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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