See Photos of Scott Weiland Through the Years
Scott Weiland was one of those seemingly tortured souls who had powerful demons, and succumbed to them much too young.
The vocalist was born Oct. 27, 1967, in California, and was sentenced to a life of emotional turmoil when he was raped at age 12 by an older man, which he recounted in his 2011 memoir Not Dead & Not for Sale.
In the late '80s, Weiland joined brothers Robert and Dean DeLeo and Eric Kretz to form the group Mighty Joe Young, which they would later rename Stone Temple Pilots. The group released their debut album Core at the height of the grunge explosion, and while they weren't from Seattle like some of their peers, their alt-rock sound resulted in them being lumped in with the likes of Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Nirvana and Pearl Jam.
While on tour supporting the album, the singer had his first experience with heroin, which would be the start of a long and brutal affair with addiction. He was arrested for drug-related reasons and went in and out of rehab several times throughout his life.
"When I started experimenting with heroin, I found I had this sense of objectivity," Weiland told Rolling Stone in 2004. "I could intellectualize the way I looked at my music and distance myself. It took away the fear aspect, so I could take more risks and explore. You know, go on a sonic adventure."
He also revealed he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder to VH1 in 2001.
During one of his rehab stints, he became friendly with drummer Matt Sorum, who he would join in Velvet Revolver in 2003 with Slash, Duff McKagan and Dave Kushner. Stone Temple Pilots had broken up, and Weiland would go on to release two albums with the supergroup.
Slash recalled how the frontman's substance issues took a toll on Velvet Revolver. "You know what happened was, with all fairness to Scott, he was a mess when we got going, but we wrote a couple good songs," the guitarist told Howard Stern in 2012.
Weiland returned to Stone Temple Pilots in 2008, and the band went on several tours and released a self-titled sixth album in 2010. But tensions came to a head again as he was fired in 2013. The singer later pursued a solo career with the Wildabouts backing him. The last studio album he released was Blaster in 2015, the same year of his death.
Despite the accounts of his former bandmates, Weiland told Loudwire Nights just months before his death that he had been off drugs for 13 years. Perhaps his assurance that he was clean is why many were surprised on Dec. 3, 2015, when the news broke that he had been found dead on his tour bus, as a result of an overdose, at 48 years old.
Weiland may have suffered the unfortunate fate many of his fans and peers foresaw, but his legacy lives on. Scroll through the gallery below to see photos of the singer throughout the years of his life.
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