Sad news music fans… This morning it was announced that Chris Cornell had died in Detroit, Michigan in the USA. The cause of his death is unknown and his family has asked for privacy about the matter. He was 52 years old. For those of you who did not know, he was the front man for two iconic rock bands of the 1990s and 2000s: Soundgarden and Audioslave and he also had a critically acclaimed solo career.
A medical examiner has determined that Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell killed himself by hanging in a Detroit hotel room after he performed a concert on Wednesday evening. Cornell was found unresponsive in his bathroom and two Detroit newspapers had earlier cited a police spokesman, that Cornell was found with “a band around his neck”.
My love for grunge music ran deep in the mid-1990’s and without Soundgarden it would have been a snooze-fest. At one stage I was listening to “Superunknown” on repeat and it’s still one of my favourite albums of all time. Soundgarden was one of the pioneers of the grunge movement. The band was formed by Cornell in Seattle, Washington in 1984 – a few years the formation of Pearl Jam (1990), Nirvana (1987) and Alice in Chains (1987). The band released 6 studio albums between 1988 and 2012.
Audioslave was formed in Los Angeles, California in 2001. The four-piece band consisted of Cornell and Rage Against the Machine members Tom Morello (on lead guitar), Tim Commerford (on bass / backing vocals) and Brad Wilk (drums). The band released 3 studio albums between 2002 and 2006.
Here are a few things you might not have known about Chris Cornell:
- In 1990, his side project Temple of the Dog saw him experiment with a more soulful style alongside the future members of Pearl Jam (Eddie Vedder, Jeff Ament, Matt Cameron & Stone Gossard).
- Cornell was the first male American artist to write and perform the theme song for a James Bond movie (“You Know My Name” for Casino Royale). He also wrote the end title song “Live to Rise” for The Avengers, the third highest grossing film of all time.
- His birth name is Christopher John Boyle and he was born on the 20th of July 1964 in Seattle, Washington. He attended Christ the King Catholic elementary school and Shorewood High School. Cornell has 5 siblings.
- Before becoming a successful musician, Cornell worked at a seafood wholesaler and was a sous-chef at a restaurant named Ray’s Boathouse (in Seattle).
- After his parents’ divorce him and his siblings adopted their mother’s maiden name, Cornell. He began using drugs and stealing—and learning to play the drums. By age 15 he was plagued by bouts of depression and had dropped out of school to play music and help support the family.
Chris Cornell made a huge contribution to the global Grunge & Rock music scene and he will be missed. RIP.
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