Jerry Fulton Cantrell Jr. (born March 18, 1966) is an American musician, singer-songwriter and guitarist best known as the founder, lead guitarist, co-lead vocalist and main songwriter of the rock band Alice in Chains. The band rose to international fame in the early 1990s during Seattle's grunge movement, and is known for its distinctive vocal style and the harmonized vocals between Cantrell and Layne Staley (and later Cantrell and William DuVall). Cantrell started to sing lead vocals on Alice in Chains' 1992 EP Sap. After Staley's death in 2002, Cantrell took the role of Alice in Chains' lead singer on most of the songs from the band's post-Staley albums, Black Gives Way to Blue (2009), The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here (2013) and Rainier Fog (2018), with DuVall harmonizing with him in the new songs and singing Staley's vocals in the old songs in live concerts.
He also has a solo career, having released the albums Boggy Depot in 1998 and Degradation Trip Volumes 1 & 2 in 2002. Cantrell has also collaborated and performed with Heart, Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, Pantera, Circus of Power, Metal Church, Gov't Mule, Damageplan, Pearl Jam, The Cult, Stone Temple Pilots, Danzig, Glenn Hughes, Duff McKagan and Deftones, among others.
Cantrell was named "Riff Lord" by British hard rock/metal magazine Metal Hammer in 2006. Guitar World Magazine ranked Cantrell as the 38th out of "100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists of All Time" in 2004, and the 37th "Greatest Guitar Player of All Time" in 2012. Guitar World also ranked Cantrell's solo in "Man In The Box" at No. 77 on its list of "100 Greatest Guitar Solos" in 2008.
He also contributed to the soundtrack of The Cable Guy (1996), John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) and Dark Nights: Metal (2018), and has made cameos in films such as Jerry Maguire (1996), Rock Slyde (2009) and Deadwood: The Movie. Cantrell also acted in the Alice in Chains mockumentaries The Nona Tapes (1995) and AIC 23 (2013).
Cantrell is a recovering addict and alcoholic and has been sober since 2003. He was awarded the 2012 Stevie Ray Vaughan Award from MusiCares, for his work helping other addicts with the recovery process. Cantrell said in his acceptance speech, "I crash landed here almost 9 years ago, in Los Angeles. Sean was at the door with my brother, so my choices were open the door and go to rehab or jump out the back window down a cliff into some black berry bushes. That’s the choice I took. Luckily they caught me because I couldn’t go anywhere, I was kind of stuck in a bush at the bottom of a cliff bleeding, and I ended up here. I didn’t intend to get here but I’m very grateful I am here, and it took a lot of people to help me get here. It's been an amazing day. It's overwhelming. I'm as imperfect as they come. I just don't get high today and wake up the next morning and try and do the same thing. A lot of people stand and get the fuck back up after falling. Some people don't get that chance. My band's been a harsh example of that – what happens when you don't deal with it." Cantrell and his Alice in Chains bandmates played a five-song set at the awards event and Cantrell stated, "We really miss Layne and Mike , and we carry them with us in our hearts".