Mark Lanegan’s wife and musical collaborator Shelley Brien was at her husband’s side when the singer died in Ireland at the age of 57 on February 22.
Lanegan’s death was announced in a tweet on the Screaming Trees’ singer’s official page.
The message read, “Our beloved friend Mark Lanegan passed away this morning at his home in Killarney, Ireland. A beloved singer, songwriter, author and musician he was 57 and is survived by his wife Shelley. No other information is available at this time. We ask Please respect the family privacy.”
In addition to performing with the Screaming Trees, Lanegan was also known for his time with Queens of the Stone Age and The Gutter Twins. The Guardian’s obituary to Lanegan refers to Brien as the singer’s “second wife.”
The couple had been collaborating musically since 2004
As recently as October 2019, Lanegan told Northern Transmissions that he was working on new music in the studio with Brien. Lanegan’s spoke more about Brien’s musical skills in an August 2019 interview with Gig Wise. Lanegan said that Brien had been working with him since 2004.
The Screaming Trees man said that Brien previously worked in television before switching full time to music. Lanegan described his wife as being a “wizard” with a synthesizer. During the same interview, Lanegan said that due to the high cost of going on tour, he would go on tour just with Brien and a guitar player. Lanegan told Other Voices in 2019 that Brien was a “great singer.” In that interview, Lanegan also said, “Every girlfriend I’ve ever had, for any amount of time, left me. All the good ones left me! Until my current wife.”
Lanegan stole his wife from his former guitar player
In the interview with Gig Wise, Lanegan said that he met Brien while she was dating his guitar player at the time. Lanegan was on tour and the unnamed guitar player nominated Brien to sing a duet with Lanegan. Lanegan said, “And that was his folly and my bounty, I guess. That’s how I met my wife. It didn’t end well.” Lanegan added that the result was that the guitar player was sent home.
Brien is credited as the co-writer of the songs, Burying Ground and Eden Lost and Found. The Irish Independent reported in November 2021 that Lanegan and Brien relocated from Los Angeles to Kerry in the south west coast of Ireland in 2020. According to the article, the couple originally intended to move to Portugal but had to change their plans in the wake of a Covid-19 related travel ban.
Brien once underwent life saving surgery during a tour stop in Sweden
Lanegan told The Irish Times in December 2021 that he was “incredibly proud” of Brien when she stopped a doctor from performing a tracheotomy because of the risk of damaging his voice. Lanegan told Spin Magazine in May 2020 that Brien “almost died” while they were on tour in Sweden. Lanegan said that Brien was forced to undergo a seven hour surgery in order to save her life. The singer expressed his surprise that the total cost was only $300 and Brien also received Swedish citizenship as a result.
In that Spin interview, Lanegan said that he could no longer watch Netflix because his wife had removed all of the TVs from their home after she found a face scan of herself “behind the screen of one of the TVs. Which are made in China, of course. She actually found a face scan of her head, with a log to see how many decibels her ears could take, how thick was her head.”
A hair stylist, Brien counts Zooey Deschanel as one of her former customers
According to a series of 2014 tweets from Brien’s now dormant page, the singer did The New Girl star Zooey Deschanel and Harry Potter star Emma Watson’s hair for that year’s Golden Globe awards. Brien’s IMDb page details her long career working in the hair and make-up department on television shows including The New Girl, Lucifer and The X-Factor. Brien is last credited with working on the series Splitting Up Together in 2019.