Chris Cornell the beloved and dynamic lead singer of Soundgarden, Audioslave, and Temple of Dogs has died by suicide on Wednesday night. The also guitarist was known for being one of the stone pillars of the grunge movement during the 90’s. Along with Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, Peal Jam’s Eddie Vedder, and Alice in Chains’ Layne Staley. As they pioneer and brought worldwide success to the Seattle’s sound during the last decades.
Besides that, Cornell was known for being a gentle person and a great singer. Whose versatile and amazing multi-octave vocal range allowed him to navigate through different aspects and displayed a rare sensitivity within heavy music, for which he had a particular like and sensibility. Counting as well with a bold showmanship that turned him into one of the signposts of the grunge era. He died at the age of 52 in Detroit.
A terrible loss for the Grunge rock scene
Soundgarden had just played at the Fox Theater in Detroit on Wednesday night. Cornell took his social media accounts to express his excitement about being in the city and playing there. The band had been scheduled to perform in Columbus, Ohio, on Friday at the Rock on the Range festival. But the frontman’s body was found lifeless on the hotel’s bathroom. As Dontae Freeman, a spokesman for the Detroit Police Department said in an interview. Starting a group of that officers went to the MGM Grand hotel and casino around midnight, answering a to a 911 call about an apparent suicide of a white man, whom he did not identify. He also added that the man’s wife had called a family friend to check on him. The friend forced his way in and found him unresponsive on the bathroom floor with a band around his neck. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to Wayne County Medical Examiner, it was Cornell who took his own life. Still, a full autopsy has to be completed. Brian Bumbery, Cornell’s representative, said that his death was “sudden and unexpected”. As well as it was for his family and friends. Despite that, his wife Vicky is working with the medical team to discover the whole truth. Since Chris had a prescription for Ativan, a tranquillizer and anti-anxiety medication that is sometimes used as a sleeping aid. Believing that maybe he had taken a higher dosage, wich can cause paranoid or suicidal thoughts, slurred speech and impair judgment. “Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris—or if any substances contributed to his demise,” the Cornell family said.
Cornell was a recovering addict, as he fought a personal war against drugs for almost his entire life, and had allegedly been sober since 2002. His wife also added that “When we spoke after the show, I noticed he was slurring his words; he was different. When he told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two, I contacted security and asked that they check on him”. matching the police report. “What happened is inexplicable and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details. I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life. The outpouring of love and support from his fans, friends, and family means so much more to us than anyone can know. Thank you for that, and for understanding how difficult this is for us”.
Along with being known for his rock star phase, Cornell was also a loving husband and father. Vicky also said that he even flew home from Soundgarden’s tour the weekend before. In order to spend time with his wife and children, before returning to the mid-west. The great loss has been grief by many of his peers through social media. Headed by Elton John who wrote “Shocked and saddened by the sudden death of Chris Cornell. A great singer, songwriter and the loveliest man”. Along with Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, who was a big fan of his, calling him “Incredibly talented. Incredibly young. Incredibly missed”.
— Chris Cornell (@chriscornell) May 18, 2017
Chris’ summed up career
After discovering that music was his passion at 16, and then meeting his bandmates Kim, Thayil, and Hiro Yamamoto. He went to become one of the best-known and successful musicians of the U.S., especially with his first band Soundgarden. Between Soundgarden and his other projects, Cornell has sold nearly over 15 million records altogether in the U.S.
He helped form Soundgarden in Seattle, where he was born, around 1984. When Sub Pop, the now iconic grunge founder record label, released the group’s first single “Hunted Down,” in 1987, as well as two subsequent EPs. The band made their debut with the “Ultramega OK,” album.
Soundgarden’s sound flirted with a dark, heavy and psychedelic sound, amalgamated by Cornell’s versatile voice. Making it one of the band’s presentation cards that got benefiting and helping define the local sound, like Nirvana and Pearl jam. Cornell was as well an imposing figure on stage, where he was bold and energetic.
The band was and still is a total hit. Since three of Soundgarden’s studio albums have been certified platinum. Counting as well with some songs that are considered “classic rock”, the Grammy-winning songs “Black Hole Sun” and “Spoonman”. The group disbanded in 1997, a breakup that would last for more than a decade, as they got together on 2010 and started touring together again. In the meanwhile, Cornell returned to his heavy drug use.
After the split of Soundgarden, Cornell took on various projects. Creating the soundtrack and songs for various films, like “Seasons” for the movie “Singles” of 1992. Releasing five solo albums during and after his time with Soundgarden, starting with “Euphoria Mornin” in 1999. Also, he did various supergroups, being the best known Audioslave. Which he founded on 2001 with various members of Rage Against the Machine (guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford, and drummer Brad Wilk). Becoming one of the most successful bands in the states. He then reunited with his Soundgarden in 2010 and in 2016 help created Temple of the Dog, a blend of members of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam. Where they paid tribute to Andrew Wood, the lead singer of the Seattle bands Malfunkshun and Mother Love Bone, who died of a heroin overdose in March 1990.