On April 5, 2002, Alice in Chains frontman Layne Staley passed away after years of battling grueling drug addiction, which was chronicled in vivid detail throughout the singer's lyrics. While plenty of his rock brethren were content in glorifying substance abuse and typical rock 'n' roll excess, Staley's words came from a dark and chilling place, one of pain and agony rather than debauchery and reckless abandon.

Fans hung in the balance, praising the brilliance of his emotionally harrowing lyrical prowess while simultaneously harboring worry that one of the '90s most prominent singers was digging his own grave. Regardless, Staley, along with the rest of Alice in Chains, helped to unite metal and grunge fans under the same banner, walking the tightrope between both genres at all times.

Staley's deep croon, which was capable of turning dirty and gritty at any moment, helped usher in a new wave of singers who readily adopted a similar approach that echoed throughout the hard rock climate by the time the late '90s hit. It was nearly impossible to turn on the radio and not drown in a sea of like-minded groups who had taken the blueprint Staley had laid down, using it as the foundation for their own rock powerhouses.

It's been 15 years since we lost one of rock's greatest singers and to commemorate his life, turn to the top of the page to see 15 Things You May Not Know About Layne Staley.

10 Unforgettable Layne Staley Moments

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