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A side project for Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx, Sixx:A.M. are a hard-rock band distinctly different from Sixx's more famous entity. Put together by Sixx in 2007, the band includes singer/guitarist James Michael and lead guitarist DJ Ashba. Their first album, The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack, is a musical imagining of Sixx's autobiography, The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star, which details one year in his life as a heroin-addicted member of Motley Crue and his eventual move to sobriety. Marked by nakedly emotional lyrics and arrangements that run the gamut from slick, active rock to piano-laden theatrics and ultra-dramatic ballads, the album, and its attendant tour, was met with critical praise by Crue fans. Sixx started bandying about plans for a 2011 follow-up to The Heroin Diaries in 2008. As a stopgap for fans, the live EP Live Is Beautiful — a play on the name of the band's best-known single, "Life Is Beautiful" — appeared in 2009.
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