LOS ANGELES — Singer Scott Weiland died of an accidental overdose of alcohol and drugs, the Hennepin County (Minnesota) Medical Examiner’s Office said Friday. The Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver frontman died December 3 while on tour with his band the Wildabouts. He was 48. The toxicology test results indicate that his death was caused by a mixture of alcohol, cocaine and MDA, a drug similar to MDMA or ecstasy. Weiland’s history of drug abuse was a contributing factor in his death, according to a news release from the medical examiner’s office.
“Other significant conditions are noted as atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, history of asthma and multi-substance dependence,” it said.
Weiland’s extraordinary career often was overshadowed by a constant battle with drug addiction. In a powerful essay after his death, his ex-wife urged fans and the media not to glorify his death.
“Our hope for Scott has died, but there is still hope for others. Let’s choose to make this the first time we don’t glorify this tragedy with talk of rock and roll and the demons that, by the way, don’t have to come with it,” Mary Forsberg Weiland wrote in Rolling Stone.
Stone Temple Pilots came on the scene at the height of the grunge movement, releasing their first album, “Core,” in 1992. The band won a Grammy in 1994 for the song “Plush” and had monster hits with “Vasoline” and “Interstate Love Song.”
But addiction dogged Weiland. He missed shows repeatedly. He would go into rehab and then relapse. The band had all the trappings of success — headlining tours, appearances on “Saturday Night Live,” platinum sales — but an unstable frontman.
After Stone Temple Pilots disbanded in 2003, Weiland joined Velvet Revolver, which was formed by former Guns N’ Roses members who’d had enough of Axl Rose. Weiland delivered hits for them. The debut album, “Contraband,” sold more than 3 million copies and yielded a massive hit, “Slither,” and another Grammy for Weiland.
In between the hits were several arrests for drugs and DUIs. He released several solo albums, formed several bands and wrote a memoir, “Not Dead & Not for Sale,” that was published in 2011. The memoir included stories of being raped when he was 12 and his relapses, including “a single line of coke” that doomed his future with Velvet Revolver.
“We are angry and sad about this loss, but we are most devastated that he chose to give up,” his ex-wife wrote. “Skip the depressing T-shirt with 1967-2015 on it — use the money to take a kid to a ballgame or out for ice cream.”