Jerry Cantrell

As the co-founder, lead guitarist, and main songwriter of Alice in Chains, Jerry Cantrell shaped the direction of grunge and alt-metal during the 1990s and beyond. He was born in Tacoma, Washington, on March 18, 1966, and met Layne Staley in 1987. Together, the two musicians formed Alice in Chains that same year. Facelift, the band's double-platinum debut, was released in 1990, kickstarting a wildly successful decade whose highlights included seven Grammy nominations and five platinum-certified albums. Cantrell co-wrote hit songs like 1991's "Man in the Box," 1993's "Rooster," 1994's chart-topping "No Excuses," and 1996's "Heaven Beside You," all of which became mainstays of the grunge era. Although Layne Staley's drug addiction eventually stalled the band's progress, Cantrell moved forward as a solo artist with 1998's Boggy Depot, which produced the Top 10 mainstream rock singles "Cut You In" and "My Song." He continued his solo career with 2002's Degradation Trip, then joined the reunited Alice in Chains — minus Stanley, who succumbed to his heroin addiction in 2002 — on the band's Grammy-nominated comeback album, Black Gives Way to Blue, in 2009. The group continued to tour and record new material during the 2010s, and Cantrell continued to release solo material, as well, including contributions to the soundtracks of John Wick: Chapter 2 soundtrack and Dark Nights: Metal. His third solo album, Brighten, was released in 2021, returning Cantrell to the Billboard Mainstream Rock Top 40 with the record's title track.

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