Scott Weiland Biography

Songwriter, Singer(1967–2015)
Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Scott Weiland is best known for performing as lead vocalist for Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver.

Synopsis

Born in 1967, singer Scott Weiland started his first band in high school in California. He founded Mighty Joe Young in 1987, and the group evolved into the Stone Temple Pilots. The band released their first album in 1992 and quickly became one of the top rock acts of the mid-1990s. Weiland struggled with substance abuse, which led him to spend five months in jail by decade's end. In 2003, Weiland joined Velvet Revolver. He appeared on their hit albums Contraband (2004) and Libertad (2007) before leaving the group. Weiland reunited with Stone Temple Pilots in 2008, but the band fired him in 2013. He has also released several solo albums.

Early Life

Born on October 27, 1967, in Santa Cruz, California, singer-songwriter Scott Weiland is known for his success with such rock groups as Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver. He has also become equally famous for his struggles with drug addiction over the years. Weiland's parents split up when he was quite young, and he spent much of his early life in Ohio with his mother and stepfather. He showed an interest in singing at a young age. He later told Esquire magazine, "I had always sung in choirs. Even when it was something to be laughed at or made fun of ... And I was always the kid who was picked at the Christmas concert to sing the solo."

While in Ohio, Weiland had a traumatic experience around the age of 12: He was raped by a high school student who threatened him into silence, he later revealed. In his mid-teens, Weiland moved back to California. He started his first band in high school, and quickly became more interested in playing gigs and partying than studying. According to Esquire, Weiland made his first trip to rehab after his mother and stepfather discovered drugs in his room.

Stone Temple Pilots

In 1987, Weiland formed Mighty Joe Young with Robert DeLeo. The band eventually evolved into what is now known as Stone Temple Pilots, with other members including Robert's brother, Dean DeLeo, and Eric Kretz. Often compared to such grunge rock acts as Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, STP released their debut album, Core, in 1992. The recording featured their first hit, "Plush," which made the charts during the summer of 1993. The song also earned Weiland and his bandmates a Grammy Award for best hard rock performance with vocal.

With their next effort, Purple (1994), STP continued to thrive, "Interstate Love Song," featured on the album, became one of the band's biggest successes of all time. As a rock star, Weiland took his partying lifestyle to the extreme. He was arrested for drug possession in 1995, and eventually received a suspended sentence. This brush with the law did little to quell Weiland's appetite for drugs. At one point, he spent time living in a Los Angeles hotel, shooting up drugs with fellow rocker Courtney Love. Weiland's personal troubles impacted the group's ability to tour in support of their 1996 release, Tiny Music ... Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop. Subsequently, he and the band parted ways for a time.

Personal Troubles

In 1998, Weiland released his first solo album, 12 Bar Blues. The subsequent tour proved to be a disaster for Weiland, with much of his time and energy spent on feeding his addictions. He reunited with Stone Temples for No. 4 (1999), which featured the song "Sour Girl," allegedly about Weiland's breakup with his first wife, Janina Castenada. But Weiland wasn't in much of a position to promote the new record, as he was sentenced to a year in prison for violating his parole.

After serving five months, a newly sober Weiland went back to work with STP. The band recorded Shangri-La Dee Da (2001) together, but Weiland split from the group shortly thereafter.

On the personal front, Weiland married his second wife, model Mary Forsberg, in 2000. The couple had two children together: Son Noah was born in November 2000, and daughter Lucy arrived two years later. The couple divorced in 2007.

Velvet Revolver

In 2003, Weiland joined Velvet Revolver, a band made up mostly of former members of the legendary hard rock act Guns N' Roses — guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Matt Sorum. The group brought Weiland in as their vocalist, and Dave Kushner joined as rhythm guitarist.

Even while starting up with this new group, Weiland continued to struggle with his demons. He was arrested for drug possession in May 2003, and was involved in a car crash while intoxicated on his birthday the following October. He was subsequently ordered by the court to undergo treatment for his substance abuse issues.

Despite his personal problems, Weiland enjoyed some success with Velvet Revolver. Both Contraband (2004)—(the single "Slither" won a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance)—and Libertad (2007) did well on the rock charts. But Weiland ended up leaving Velvet Revolver and headed back into rehabilitation in 2008.

Recent Projects

In 2008, Weiland reunited with STP for a tour. He then rejoined the group for its next studio album, 2010's Stone Temple Pilots. In addition to STP, Weiland released several solo efforts around this time, including 2008's "Happy" in Galoshes and 2010's Live in Los Angeles, which both met with little success. And critics were truly puzzled over his much maligned holiday album, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (2011).

Weiland shared his successes and struggles in the 2011 memoir Not Dead & Not for Sale. He was fired by STP in February 2013. According to The Associated Press, Weiland allegedly learned of his termination from the group after reading about it in the press: "Not sure how I can be 'terminated' from a band that I founded, fronted and co-wrote many of its biggest hits, but that's something for the lawyers to figure out," the singer stated. Chester Bennington, longtime frontman for the rock band Linkin Park, was brought in as Weiland's replacement.

While no longer part of STP, Weiland continued to record and perform on his own. He went on tour in 2013 with his band the Wildabouts.

Death

On December 3, 2015 Weiland was found dead on his tour bus in Bloomington, Minnesota, while touring with his band the Wildabouts. He reportedly died in his sleep.

Two weeks later, the coroner released its official report on Weiland's cause of death, stating the singer died of a deadly mix of cocaine, ethanol and methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA). 

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