Layne Thomas Staley was an American musician who served as the lead singer and co-songwriter of the rock band Alice in Chains, which he founded with guitarist Jerry Cantrell in Seattle, Washington in 1987. Alice in Chains rose to international fame as part of the grunge movement of the early 1990s.
Layne Staley has the dramatic quality in his voice that reaches out and holds everyone in their darkness. His vocal opera is something that isn't easy to forget.
Layne Staley has saved many people by giving them a voice to relate to. He has gone beyond addiction and has become the icon of a pained human being. The beautiful thing is that it's not just the fans who have been touched but even giants like Black Label Society, Phil Anselmo, or Stained pay tribute to Layne because in their own unique situation they've been touched in their dark hours when only Layne could relate to the depth of how painful it can be to be human.
Alice In Chains weren't trying to be pop. Popularity wasn't their aim yet they managed to reach such a massive fan base by being honest, humble and vulnerable in everything they did. It's admirable and it's not something that is likely to be duplicated ever again, but Layne Staley lived a life where there was only pain. He as blessed to have an amazing range ...more
When Layne died it felt as though a part of me died with him. I sat and listened to AIC non stop for 2 weeks continually. I tried to make sense in my mind why someone with such a beautiful gift couldn't get a handle on such a terrible disease with all the help and support he had. I know the odds of beating heroin addiction is not in any ones favor. I was hoping and praying with the gift he had and the talent he would somehow find a reason to want to live on and get well. I think after Demri died it just didn't matter. That is why he went into self exclusion and let him self waste away. I still can't get get over that he was emaciated and weighed a paltry 86lbs and had lost most of his teeth and his body was run down from poor care, drug abuse, and a sepsis infection that over run his body. To think of how much physical pain he must have been in before he died is heartbreaking. I really feel so sad that no one was with him during his transition of passing over. How horrible to think of ...more
I know there's a lot of great singers, but no one stands out to me like LAYNE STALEY. He had a heart of GOLD and a beautiful SOUL, and sang with such pure and raw EMOTION... From the depth of his soul RESONATING into mine. I FEEL him... Some of his songs make me long to hear more while others make my heart ache and bring tears to my eyes. I HEAR him... His voice range is AMAZING... Notes from deep within his chest, sounding like the biggest burly man to notes so high that they could only come from an ANGEL. He WRITES... His lyrics from somewhere deep inside, and is a great POET connecting with so many people. I think LAYNE is the most under rated talent of modern times! *PURE GENIUS*
Being a friend of laynes and close to aic I am surprised he isn't higher up on the list. Not only was layne thomas staley a great singer and front man, he was also very funny, humble and just a good person in general. Too much has been done to his memory in negative ways. People stealing from his estate, bad mouthing him and his memory, layne suffered much in his final months the depression and addiction that a lot of us have been fighting took him from all of us. He is most surly missed and that voice is never ever going to be duplicated. One of a kind man in so many ways, and he should be much higher on this list. Thank you
there is no one who's vocal chords has touched me in a way Layne has. there is no one's who's lyrics have touched me more. there is no one who's lyrics I've been able to relate to more. the power, the soul, the emotion, the rawness, the frailty, the raw brutal power, the phrasing, the melodies made layne unique and just mindblowingly awesome. out of all the people in music I've ever looked up to, or who's music I've cherished and loved, there is no one that I love more than layne. I love you like a brother and miss you tremendously. rest in peace sweet man!
Layne's voice is one of the unique and powerful voices of this century and many vocal chords have been shredded in an attempt to emulate what came naturally to him. Eddie Vedder, Chris Cornell, Mark Arm, Mark Lanegan, and Kurt Cobain have all commented on the sheer brilliancy of Layne's vocal abilities. Cobain said "I'm not much of a singer... But Layne, Layne's got one hell of a voice. " It is a complete tragedy that his talent was taken from us due to the powerful addiction of drugs. May his music and memory live on forever. Oh, and I've never heard anybody else ever be able to hit the notes in Man in the Box. Just saying.
WHAT IS OUR WORLD COMING TO! There's just so much trash music everyone listens to with lyrics that don't mean anything. There's way too many things I have to say about Layne Staley. First of all there's just something just so powerful and dramatic that yes reaches out and holds everyone in their darkness. Again it just bothers me so much that now from 2000 and above people have basically destroyed what music is supposed to be. Justin Bieber making a song called baby. I mean if you listen to the lyrics of the song and listen to a song by Layne and compare the two you would get what I'm saying. I can't believe #12 is Katy Perry and 14 and 15 is Bruno Mars and Eminem. Layne deserves to be ahead of both of those. Not many people realize just how amazing his voice is and no one could ever have a voice as amazing as his. This comment seems like it's been filled with a lot of hate so I'm sorry but it deserves to be told.
Just listen to his body of work Alice in Chains from the eerie vocals of "Head Creeps" to the sullen "Rotten Apple" to their wild interpretation of David Bowie's "Suffragette City" or his work with Mad Season from the incredibly grungy "I Don't Know Anything" to the bluesy "Artificial Red", the man was a genius capable of singing in any genre from grunge to blues to thrash metal to pseudo-country. In an era dominated by a singe who shall remain nameless with far less talent Layne may be one of the most underappreciated voices of all-time.
Layne poured all his emotion into his singing and opened up to the world about his problems. He sang with a voice so unique and different from everyone else it made him a legend. Between him and Jerry Cantrells harmonies Alice In Chains became a true legend of a band. Layne deserves to be number one because no other person has such a unique voice as him. Listen to his screams in "Man in the box" right down to "Junkhead". In "love hate love" he really shows some great range near the halfway mark. And "nutshell" is full of so much emotion that no other human could sing it as great and beautiful as Layne did. Layne deserves to be number one.
It was not just Layne's vocals that were truly incredible, it was the lyrics that he sang, no one other vocalist has ever cut that deep in to their own soul, with such meaning and purpose... Most songs were scary because in essence you could almost here him crying out for help with all the problems he had. He was as close to the greatest singer as you'll ever get.
Layne Staley was the king of the "yeahs" - his voice could hit any high or low making the majority of AIC/ Mad Season songs virtually impossible to sing without him. He was truly a legend in his own right, a voice that often is not given the amount of credit it should be given.
Also, It pisses me off that Jared Leto is above him. That should be illegal.
Most of the idiots on here won't realize greatness when it comes to vocals, but coming from a vocalist in myself, Layne Staley was probably the greatest frontman of all time behind Freddie Mercury and Robert Plant... This is coming from a person who isn't even that much of an Alice in Chains fan, I just recognize ability when I see and don't hold a biased opinion.
Layne has one of the best male voices ever. He has such a strong, deep, sexy and a sensational voice. It moves right through you. I never get tired of listening to his voice. I get lost in his voice and emotion. True talent. Too bad he left so soon. He should be moved up to the top 10 for sure. (I would bump MJ down a few pegs.. please) RIP Layne
It was not just voice, h was emotion. His songs shared his emotions, he wanted to show himself to the whole world. A lot of people can listen to his texts and cry sometimes, because is pure emotion. I don't care about his problems with drugs, I care about his feelings, his amazing voice, his beautiful essence. Rest in peace Layne, we will never forget you.
This list is a joke. Layne had one if the best voices in rock. He is one singer I can listen to all day and never get sick of his voice. He sang with such soul and was a beautiful person. He was never given his due. He was written off as a junkie. Well so was Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. And they immortalized them! Layne rules. He was the best and will always be missed by his fans! RIP BEAUTIFUL!
Staley was a gift for humans with a heart in their chests, who have feelings but not the ability to turn them into music, and not the voice of an angry angel. When I hear his voice, it scratches my hearth every time. His lyrics were my exact emotions and it was not just me as said "above" he was singing for the people who felt like him. I'm quite sure anyone who loved someone and heard, well let's say, "Love, Hate, Love" would understand what I mean. - angryangel
Layne Staley is and always will be one of the most recognizable singers in music. It is a travesty that people actually think axle rose and Eminem are better singers. I like Eminem for rapping but the dude is no singer. Axle rose just sounds like a cat in heat. Layne still touches people with his vocals and a new generation is coming to appreciate what music used to be before what they play now hit the airwaves. What Layne did as a vocalist and AIC did as a band is timeless and will never be tired and overplayed. Layne was a powerhouse who could crank it back in a split second and be gentle and touching. Fortunately for a true AIC fan, we don't care what other people think about Layne because we know what is real and true, and that is that Layne Staley is, was and always will be The Man. Layne, you will always be loved and missed.
Layne should be #1! He is the best! From the moment I heard him sing, I was hooked. His voice was so unique, when you heard him you knew right away it was him. You can hear his emotions like no other singer. Layne will be my favorite of all time forever! RIP Layne Staley you are missed.
There is without any shadow of a doubt that Layne Staley should be voted number 1! He was very unique and always displayed so much emotion with all his songs, a excellent example is the classic "Man In The Box" song on A.I.C. 's first album : Facelift! His music had a big impact, and continues to have a big impact on my life, and everyone else's lives as well. A legend such as the late great Layne Staley should NEVER be discredited on anything, as is spirit is just so everlasting in us all.
When Layne sang, he had a certain natural quality that made people sit and stare at him in awe without even realizing it. He had such undeniable range in his voice and he was able to sound hard and heavy, yet soft and beautful when needed depending on the song he was singing. He had an amazing vocal range and he could belt out when he wanted to along with sounding soulful and haunting at other times. He truely was a unique and powerful singer that should have gotten the attention he deserved. I hope one fine day he will...
Layne Staley has the most amazing, intense and powerful voice. It is completely one of a kind. He sang with such emotion. I have yet to find another singer that can make me feel the way Layne does. He was a brilliant musician and a kind and funny person. He is missed dearly. RIP Layne...
Layne's voice was like no other he was the only one who could sing like an angry angel. We need to get him to #1 because that is where he belongs. Not 13 or below but #1. He is sadly missed by all including me there is no other like Layne Staley or ever will be. RIP
darndit i missed him on the first way around and added a new one and spelt it wrong... oooops.... he was amazing as the front runner of alice in chains there will never be a more influential singer ever.... its amazing people dnt vote for him even after man in the box down in a hole and would.... LAYNE STALEY LIVES ON
Amazing talent amongst a few others out of the Seattle area in the 90s. Layne could own most of the worthless people on this list, but there is definitely only one of him, and I will always stand behind my love for the REAL Alice in Chains. The band will never be the same or even half as good as it was with him and Jerry harmonizing.
The best there ever was and will be... Alice in Chains lost a great singer, Grunge lost a King and I lost a friend, a mentor... You made amazing music... I listen to Alice in chains everyday just to remind myself that you're still here... God Bless You Layne Staley