Jani Lane, Lead Singer of Warrant, Dies at 47

  • Share
  • Read Later

The glam-band wailer will be remembered for his wild hair and wilder personality.

Lane, who provided lead vocals/screams for glam rock band Warrant, was found dead in a California hotel room Thursday evening. According to TMZ, Lane’s body was discovered “unresponsive” at the Comfort Inn hotel in Woodland Hills, Calif., around 5:30 p.m. No cause of death was immediately released, but law enforcement officials told the Los Angeles Times that alcohol and prescription drugs were found near Lane’s body in the motel room.

As frontman of Warrant in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, Lane penned the group’s biggest hit, “Cherry Pie,” released in 1990. He joined the hair-metal band in 1986 and was infamous for his revolving-door attitude in fronting the band: he left in 1993, rejoined in 1994, and quit again in 2004. But his success with Warrant is indisputable. Lane wrote five top 40 hits for the band, whose albums notched up sales of more than 8 million albums.

(LIST: 30 Best Music Videos)

A heavier and seemingly downtrodden Lane appeared on VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club in 2005 to clean up his act. A photo surfaced in 2008 featuring Lane prominently as Warrant’s lead singer, but within months, he was off the roster once again. In his later years he was known to have a slew of alcohol-related issues. In 2010, he was jailed for 120 days after receiving two DUIs in just over one year.

The blond, leather-loving Lane was born John Kennedy Oswald in Akron, Ohio. He found a penchant for the drums at an early age, but his energy and good looks pushed up toward the microphone. He headed to Los Angeles in 1983 at the age of 19 to pursue stardom.

And stardom he indeed found. As he writes on-stage antics put a smile on our face ten miles wide. Relive (and rock out to) his greatest legacy, “Cherry Pie.”

Nick Carbone is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @nickcarbone. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

READ: Why Do Kids Worship 80s Metal Idols?