Jani Lane Another Star from ’80s Who With an Untimely Death

The sad news of the death of rock star Jani Lane, the former lead singer of the 1980s glam metal band Warrant, follows a long line of untimely celebrity deaths this year. Lane was just 47 years old. For those of us who grew up in the ’80s, it’s another reminder of the quickly passing time, as well as the decade known for an overindulgence of drugs and alcohol.

Though the cause of Lane’s early demise is not known at this point, the rocker was jailed for several DUI-related incidents, giving reason to speculate that the likely cause was substance-related, according to KFMB-TV. Warrant was best known for the popular hit “Cherry Pie,” which was written by the late singer.

Lane wrote his hit song on the back of a pizza box that can be seen at the Hard Rock Cafe in Destin, Fla. After the song was released, Warrant became a huge success, but in the years following, as it often happens, their album sales faded and the band quickly became a distant memory from the past.

The 1980s and 1990s were peak decades for drug use, including cocaine and ecstasy, notes Gallup. Fortunately, most people grew away from dangerous drugs and moved on with their lives, but it’s harder to do that in the world of rock and roll.

Another musician from the 1980s, Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr, died earlier this year at the relatively young age of 44. The band was founded in 1987, and is often associated with the beginnings of grunge rock that peaked in the 1990s.

Mike Starr experienced another bout of fame on “Celebrity Rehab” in 2009, the reality show that follows celebrities through their drug and alcohol addictions. Shortly before Starr’s death in March, he had been arrested for felony possession of controlled substances and was said to have been mixing methadone and anxiety medication.

Alice in Chains lead singer Layne Stayley died back in 2002 after mixing heroin and cocaine. These were the same substances that killed actor River Phoenix and comedian John Belushi.

Jeff Conaway was another victim of addiction who died after an overdose put him into a coma, according to TMZ. Conaway’s career also peaked in the 1980s with “Grease” and the television sitcom “Taxi.” The actor was also another celebrity whose notorious substance abuse issues were chronicled on “Celebrity Rehab.”

The pressures of living in America continue to grow, and we’ll lose many more people, celebrity and unknown, to drugs this year. Those who are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol need the support of family members and close friends to get them through recovery so they don’t become another statistic. It is truly disheartening to read about yet another loss to the black hole of drug addiction.

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