Alice in Chains (often abbreviated as AIC) is an American rock band from Seattle, Washington, formed in 1987 by guitarist and vocalist Jerry Cantrell and drummer Sean Kinney, who later recruited bassist Mike Starr and lead vocalist Layne Staley. Starr was replaced by Mike Inez in 1993. William DuVall joined the band in 2006 as co-lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist, replacing Staley, who died in 2002. The band took its name from Staley's previous group, the glam metal band Alice N' Chains.Often associated with grunge music, Alice in Chains' sound incorporates heavy metal elements. The band is known for its distinctive vocal style, which often included the harmonized vocals between Staley and Cantrell (and later Cantrell and DuVall). Cantrell started to sing lead vocals on the 1992 acoustic EP Sap, and his role continued to grow in the following albums, making Alice in Chains a two-vocal band.
Alice in Chains rose to international fame as part of the grunge movement of the early 1990s, along with other Seattle bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden. They achieved success during the era with the albums Facelift (1990), Dirt (1992) and Alice in Chains (1995), as well as the EP Jar of Flies (1994). Although never officially disbanding, Alice in Chains was plagued by extended inactivity from 1996 onward, due to Staley's substance abuse, which resulted in his death in 2002. The band regrouped in 2006, with DuVall taking over as lead vocalist full-time, and they have since released three more albums: Black Gives Way to Blue (2009), The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here (2013), and Rainier Fog (2018).
Since its formation, Alice in Chains has released six studio albums, three EPs, three live albums, four compilations, two DVDs, 43 music videos, and 32 singles. They have sold more than 30 million records worldwide, and over 20 million records in the US alone. The band has had 18 Top 10 songs on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, 5 No. 1 hits, and received 11 Grammy Award nominations. They were ranked number 34 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock and as the 15th greatest live band by Hit Parader.