Mark William Lanegan (born November 25, 1964) is an American alternative rock musician and singer-songwriter. Born and raised in Ellensburg, Washington, Lanegan began his musical career in 1984, forming the grunge band Screaming Trees with Gary Lee Conner, Van Conner and Mark Pickerel. During his time in the band, Lanegan also started a low-key solo career and released his first solo studio album, The Winding Sheet, in 1990. Since 1990, he has released a further six studio albums and has received critical recognition and moderate commercial success. Lanegan has also collaborated with various artists and bands throughout his career, including with Kurt Cobain of Nirvana prior to the group's breakout success with their album, Nevermind, recording an unreleased album of songs by the blues singer, Lead Belly. Lanegan also performed with Layne Staley in the side band, Mad Season. It was intended that Lanegan was to take over vocals in Mad Season full-time after Staley declined to make a second album. Following the dissolution of The Screaming Trees in 2000, he became a member of Queens of the Stone Age and is featured on five of the band's albums—Rated R (2000), Songs for the Deaf (2002), Lullabies to Paralyze (2005), Era Vulgaris (2007) and ...Like Clockwork (2013). Lanegan also formed The Gutter Twins with Greg Dulli in 2003, released three collaboration albums with former Belle and Sebastian singer Isobel Campbell, and contributed to releases by Melissa Auf der Maur, Martina Topley Bird, Creature with the Atom Brain, Moby, Bomb the Bass, Soulsavers and Mad Season. Lanegan has a distinctive baritone voice that has been described "as scratchy as a three-day beard yet as supple and pliable as moccasin leather" and compared to Tom Waits.