Estates of Layne Staley and Mike Starr Sell Alice in Chains Song Rights to Primary Wave

The late AIC members' publishing rights and royalties have been sold for an undisclosed amount

Alice In Chains

The estates of late Alice in Chains members Layne Staley and Mike Starr have sold publishing rights and song royalties to the band’s classic material.

Primary Wave made the purchase, the latest in a trend of major music publishing acquisitions. Royalties from the music of Neil Young, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, and many more have changed hands in recent years, spearheaded by companies like Primary Wave and the Hipgnosis Song Fund.

Staley penned some of Alice in Chains’ most iconic songs, splitting songwriting duties with singer-guitarist Jerry Cantrell. Staley’s sole writing credit for “Man in the Box” is the crown jewel of Primary Wave’s acquisition, though the company will also have Staley and Starr’s master recording royalties for Cantrell-penned songs such as “Rooster” and “Would.” Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Primary Wave is pleased to partner with the estates of Layne Staley and Mike Starr to honor their musical legacies as part of the classic era lineup of Alice in Chains, who created the amazing songs and records that comprise the albums Dirt and Facelift, and the acoustic EPs, Jar of Flies and Sap,” Primary Wave’s David Weitzman said in a statement (via Rolling Stone). “These projects represent the greatest works from one of the best artists of the iconic nineties Seattle-based grunge era.”

Staley sadly died in 2002 after a long battle with drug addiction. Starr passed away in 2011 from a prescription drug overdose. After taking years away from the band to concentrate on two solo albums, Cantrell eventually reemerged with Alice in Chains in 2005 with a lineup featuring original drummer Sean Kinney, bassist Mike Inez, and singer William DuVall.

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Cantrell recently released his third solo effort, Brighten, last year. He’s set to take the album on the road for a North American solo tour, and he’s bringing along guests such as Greg Puciato. Dates kick off March 24th in Minneapolis and run through May 8th in San Diego. Get tickets via Ticketmaster.


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