Scott Weiland, the former lead singer of definitive ‘90s rock band Stone Temple Pilots and 2000s supergroup Velvet Revolver, one of the best-known voices of his generation, died in his sleep Thursday night on a tour bus in Minnesota. He was 48.
The news first began circulating when Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro tweeted late last night that Weiland had passed (the tweet has since been removed). The news was subsequently confirmed by Weiland’s wife Jamie (via The Los Angeles Times) and was later shared on his official Facebook page.
“At this time we ask that the privacy of Scott’s family be respected,” the post partially read.
A California native, Weiland was born Scott Kline, but took his adoptive father’s last name as a child. In the mid-eighties, he met bass player Robert DeLeo at a punk show, and their bond eventually resulted in Stone Temple Pilots. By 1992 they had released their debut album Core – one of the biggest rock records of the decade – and by 1994, when the album Purple was released, they were one of the biggest bands in the world.
These days, we think of Stone Temple Pilots as one of the essential '90s bands, known for anthemic rock hits like “Plush,” “Wicked Garden” and “Big Empty,” but the success brought with it struggles for Weiland. He was convicted for buying drugs in 1995, eventually serving prison time, and arrested for DUI in 2003 and 2007. He famously clashed with his STP bandmates, resulting in the band’s dissolution in 2002 and his eventual firing in 2013.
In 2003, after STP’s breakup, Weiland joined former Guns N’ Roses members Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum – along with former Wasted Youth guitarist Dave Kushner – to form the supergroup Velvet Revolver. It proved to be a successful second act, resulting in the albums Contraband and Libertad and hit singles like “Slither” and “Fall to Pieces.” Weiland left the band in 2008.
Along the way there were also solo albums, more personal troubles and a memoir titled Not Dead and Not for Sale. At the time of his death, Weiland was on tour with his new group the Wildabouts, which released their debut album earlier this year. An official cause of death has not yet been given, but anyone familiar with Weiland’s career knows his history of substance abuse. He was a star that often seemed to burn too bright, a man who often seemed to fall apart in front of us. Through it all, though, was the music, and when it comes to that, Scott Weiland leaves a hell of a legacy.