Michael Christopher Starr born in Honolulu, Hawaii was best known as the original bassist in Alice in Chains, with whom he played from the band's formation in 1987 until 1993.
In the mid 1980s Jerry Cantrell began a band called Diamond Lie which included drummer Sean Kinney and Starr on bass. Cantrell's roommate, singer Layne Staley, also agreed to join while having Cantrell join his funk project which ended shortly thereafter.
Diamond Lie gained attention in the Seattle area and eventually took the name of Alice in Chains. The band was later signed to a record deal with Columbia Records and enjoyed extensive success via record sales and radio play in the grunge rock movement of the early 1990s.
A demo called The Treehouse Tapes in 1988 won them a major-label deal with Columbia Records the next year. A three-song promotional EP, We Die Young, was released in July 1990, spawning the hard-rock radio hit in the title track, followed by their first full-length effort, Facelift, in August of that year.
The album was a landmark in contemporary hard rock, mixing the over-the-top guitar heroics of the previous decade with grinding tempos. Staley's rumbling vocals were hypnotic, ominously singing lines such as Love, sex, pain, confusion, suffering/ You're there crying/ I feel not a thing/ Drilling my way deeper in your head/ Sinking, draining, drowning, bleeding, dead on the track Confusion.