Mike Starr

Former Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr died Tuesday in Salt Lake City, Utah, TVGuide.com has confirmed. He was 44 years old.

According to a spokesman for the Salt Lake City police department, police received a call of a possible death at 1:42 p.m. local time. When police arrived at the location of the call, they confirmed Starr was deceased. His cause of death will be determined following an autopsy.

Watch videos of Alice in Chains

Starr's father called his son's death "a terrible shock and tragedy" to TMZ, which first reported the news.

Born in Honolulu, HI, Starr was the original bassist for Alice in Chains when the heavy metal band formed in 1987. He left the group in 1993 and later played bass for the band Sun Red Sun, which also included former Black Sabbath members Ray Gillen and Bobby Rondinelli.

See other celebrities who died this year

In 2010, Starr appeared on the third season of Celebrity Rehab and later on the spin-off Sober House. He returned to Celebrity Rehab for one episode in Season 4 to discuss his recovery.  

"Devastating to hear of Mike Starr succumbing to his illness. So very sad. Our prayers are with his family," Dr. Drew tweeted Tuesday afternoon.

Starr was arrested last month on suspicion of felony possession of a controlled substance.