Scott Weiland's Death Tears Through Music Community

Scott Weiland at Warehouse Live, 2008
Scott Weiland at Warehouse Live, 2008
Mark C. Austin

News of the death of Scott Weiland, 48, has stunned the world of rock today. The singer, who was due to return to Houston next Friday, was reportedly found dead on his tour bus at around 9 p.m. last night in Bloomington, Minnesota, where Scott Weiland & the Wildabouts were scheduled to perform at the Medina Ballroom Entertainment Center with guests the Missing Letters.

According to their website, that show was canceled yesterday evening without explanation, despite doors opening at 7 p.m. There is no mention of the event or cancellation on their Facebook page.

By midnight Weiland's Facebook posted this statement: “Scott Weiland, best known as the lead singer for Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, passed away in his sleep while on a tour stop in Bloomington, Minnesota, with his band, The Wildabouts. At this time we ask that the privacy of Scott’s family be respected.”

Sorrow has moved through the music community. Weiland's own Facebook page has become a memorial where others have posted fond memories of the singer. Condolences and grief were first tweeted by some of Weiland's long-time friends like Krist Novoselic and Dave Navarro.

Weiland was an iconic alternative singer with an incredible vocal ability and range. He was responsible for some of the biggest rock hits of the 90s. Weiland also led the quintessential rock-star life of addiction struggles and fall-outs with bands.

Scott Weiland in his final Houston appearance, earlier this year.
Scott Weiland in his final Houston appearance, earlier this year.
Violeta Alvarez

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Weiland is of course best known as front man for the Grammy-winning Stone Temple Pilots, a band that helped define and popularize the alternative genre, STP can be credited with truly changing the sound of American grunge and rock with hits like “Vaseline”, “Interstate Love Song,” and “Sex Type Thing."

In 2003 Weiland joined supergroup Velvet Revolver with members of Guns N’ Roses and Wasted Youth. After STP parted ways, Velvet Revolver seemed to give Weiland the second chance he needed to display his tremendous talent. Despite Velvet Revolver’s success (the band won the 2005 Grammy for Hard Rock Performance for "Slither"), Weiland wasn't able to avoid turmoil with yet another band. 

After parting way with Velvet Revolver in 2008, Weiland hoped to resurrect STP. Even though he was responsible for helping found STP in 1989, Weiland ultimately found himself fired from  the band. It’s no secret Weiland struggled with drug addiction and bi-polar disorder, which undoubtedly caused strife and ill-will among the reunited members. Those struggles often became public; he was arrested several times for possession of crack cocaine, driving while intoxicated and domestic abuse.

However, Weiland seemed to find more balance later in life as he released another solo album, a Christmas record, an autobiography and married for the third time. He created Scott Weiland & the Wildabouts in 2013, a band that earned scathing reviews yet still seemed popular among Weiland fans.

Weiland earned his rightful place in rock history and will be remembered as an incredibly talented yet tragic figure. Today we say goodbye to one of the titans of the alternative rock scene.

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