According to The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the mother of late ALICE IN CHAINS singer Layne Staley has filed a lawsuit against the surviving members of the band, asking for a court order establishing her right to 16 percent of the group's revenue — half of the money due Staley — as well as any of her son's assets currently controlled by the band.
According to the lawsuit, an attorney for ALICE IN CHAINS members Jerry Cantrell and Sean Kinney told Staley's mother, Nancy McCallum, last September that the revenue-sharing agreement that had seen her paid in the decade after the singer's death would be terminated. Band attorney Peter Paterno also alleged in a December 2012 letter that McCallum has tried to trademark the ALICE IN CHAINS name, a move he described as "disturbing."
Staley's former bandmates say the singer's heirs will be able to collect royalties on songs he wrote or co-wrote, while arguing McCallum no longer has a role in the band’s business decisions.
Staley died on April 5, 2002 at the end of a long and tragic descent into heroin addiction that ultimately sidelined his career and his band after three studio albums, an acoustic live disc and two EPs. The 34-year-old singer had all but disappeared from public view during the last few years of his life. His body was not found in his Seattle home until April 20, 2002, two weeks after the date on which it was ultimately determined that he died.
Staley was born in Kirkland, Washington on August 22, 1967 and began playing drums at the age of 12. He soon switched to singing and met guitarist Jerry Cantrell in 1987. The pair formed ALICE IN CHAINS, which started out as a glam band but eventually became one of Seattle's biggest "grunge" exports.
Cantrell told The Pulse Of Radio a while back that artists like Staley didn't come around very often. "Layne was a very unique, one-of-a-kind guy," he said. "There's, like, a handful of those guys in music, for every generation, that are that unique and that hard to cop, but a lot of people try. [laughs] But there's a lot of people that feel the weight of what that guy brought to music and have been influenced by it."