Jani Lane, ex-singer of Warrant, found dead at 47
Jani Lane, former singer of the glam rock and "hair metal" band Warrant, which spurred hits such as "Cherry Pie" and "Heaven," has died at age 47.
Paramedics found his body on Thursday, August 11, in a Comfort Inn motel room in Woodland Hills, California, which is near Los Angeles. Lane had battled alcohol abuse for years. The cause of his death is still under investigation.
"Jani will be missed by all," a message on the singer's website said on Friday. "Very unexpected and tragic news of his untimely death."
Alcohol and prescription drugs were found in Lane's motel room, but there is no indication that his death was a suicide, the Los Angeles Times quoted police sources and others close to the matter as saying. Lane had a home in Redondo Beach, located about 30 miles away.
Lane, who was born John Kennedy Oswald in Ohio, is survived by his third wife, Kimberly, and four children - two stepdaughters and two daughters from two previous marriages. His first wife was model Bobbie Brown, who appeared in Warrant's popular "Cherry Pie" music video.
In 2010, after years of alcohol addiction problems, Lane was arrested for driving under the influence. He pleaded no contest and was ordered to serve 120 days in jail, Road Runner Records' Blabbermouth website said.
It quoted him as saying in a statement at the time: "My true hope is that anyone out there dealing with personal problems ... the consequences do not get lighter. I can only say I've never regretted a good decision or action and never been proud of bad ones. People have an astounding ability to forgive ... I have to start with forgiving myself."
Warrant was formed in Los Angeles in the 1980s, when glam rock, which touted big hair, heavy make-up and power chords, was at its peak.
Warrant's debut album, the 1989 record "Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich," contained the single "Heaven," a ballad that would become a commercial hit.
The band's second album, "Cherry Pie," was released in 1990. Its title track remains one of the most popular rock songs of the "hair metal" era. It has been featured in films, including the recent comedy "The Change-Up," which stars Ryan Reynolds. The song has also often played at strip clubs due to its sexual lyrics.
The album "Cherry Pie" also contained the tracks "I Saw Red," another ballad, and the rock song "Uncle Tom's Cabin." Warrent's first two albums have sold more than 2 million copies each in the United States.
In 1991, Lane married Brown and welcomed his first child, a daughter named Taylar, in 1992. On Friday, her Facebook profile picture was a photo of her and her father. In 1994, Lane and his first wife divorced.
He wed Rowanne Brewer, a former Miss Maryland USA, in 1996 and the two welcomed a daughter, Madison, the following year. They ended their marriage in 2004. Jani married Kimberly Nash in 2010.
Lane recorded many albums with Warrant but left the group several times. He released his debut solo album, "Back Down to One," in 2002. The group's seventh studio album, "Born Again," was released in 2006 and featured Jaime St. James as the lead singer.
Lane appeared on the VH1 reality show "Celebrity Fit Club" in 2005. In 2008, Lane returned to Warrant temporarily and toured with the group. In April of that year, he released an album with super group Saints of the Underground.
The following September, Warrant announced that Jani had left again. The group replaced him with lead singer Robert Mason and released an eighth studio album, "Rockaholic," in May of this year.
"We are deeply saddened to hear the news of Jani's passing," a message on Warrant's website said. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Jani was a very important part of our lives for a long time. We will always be incredibly proud of the music we created together. He was a true talent and will be missed by all of us."
Lane's death was mourned by fans and musicians on social networking websites.
"Our thoughts go out to our fallen brother Jani Lane, his family, his friends and his fans," shock rocker Alice Cooper said on his Facebook page.
Other music artists most famous during the 1980s "hair metal" era, such as ex-Guns n' Roses guitarist Slash, Bret Michaels of Poison and Sebastian Bach, formerly of the rock group Skid Row, also expressed their condolences.
"So sad about Jani," Bach Tweeted on Friday. "The death rate in our business seems awful high huh."
Nikki Sixx from the group Motley Crue said on his Twitter page: "I just heard the sad news about Janie Lane. So hard to swallow when people have kids. RIP.
Check out the music videos for the Warrant songs "Cherry Pie," "Heaven" and "Uncle Tom's Cabin," featuring Jani Lane.