Soundgarden’s kris Cornell Dead at 52

Audioslave, temple of the Dog singer dies by suicide in Detroit hotel room


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Chris Cornell, the dynamic vocalist and guitarist whose functional showmanship as Soundgarden and Temple that the Dog’s frontman to be a signpost the the grunge era, passed away by suicide Wednesday night.He was 52.

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Cornell eliminated himself through hanging, according to the Wayne County medical Examiner (via connected Press). A full autopsy report to be still gift completed as of Thursday afternoon.

Police received a 911 contact at around 12 a.m. Indigenous a household friend, follow to Michael Woody, manager of Media connections for the Detroit Police Department. When the friend saw Cornell’s hotel room in ~ the MGM grand Detroit to check on him, the “made it within the hotel room, whereby he found Mr. Cornell unresponsive laying top top the bathroom floor,” according to Woody. EMS employees pronounced Cornell dead at the scene.


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Earlier ~ above Wednesday, the singer had actually played a display with Soundgarden, who were midway v their tour. “His wife, Vicky, and family to be shocked to learn of his sudden and unexpected passing, and they will be working carefully with the clinical examiner to identify the cause,” his publicist said in a statement.


Cornell’s peers and also influences posted plenty of tributes come the singer-guitarist on society media. “A glowing voice in music has actually left united state in the midnight,” Perry Farrell tweeted. “He was a facility and tenderness soul. Kris Cornell has actually flown right into the black color hole sun.”

Jimmy Page dubbed the singer “Incredibly talented. Very young. Very missed,” Elton john wrote, “Shocked and also saddened by the sudden fatality of kris Cornell. A great singer, songwriter and the loveliest man.”

Cornell’s artistry was marked by his impressive multi-octave vocal variety that presented a rarely sensitivity within hefty music. With Soundgarden, he could change between raging metal declarations (“Jesus Christ Pose”), somber mood piece (“Fell on black Days”) and also psychedelia (“Black hole Sun”) through ease.

After years of playing typically aggressive music in the Eighties, his full variety of musical expression verified in 1991 once he created Temple the the Dog – a supergroup special Soundgarden and eventual Pearl Jam members – to pay tribute come late mommy Love Bone frontman Andrew Wood. He later explored heavier are with members that Rage versus the device in the supergroup Audioslave and also his vulnerable side as a solo artist, with regular acoustic mirrors in current years. Between Soundgarden and his various other projects, Cornell reportedly sold almost 15 million albums completely in the U.S.

Born Christopher john Boyle in Seattle ~ above July 20th, 1964, Cornell – that took his mother’s maiden surname after his parental divorced – was the child of a pharmacist father and accountant mommy in Seattle. He had actually two brothers and three sisters and also jokingly likened his family members to The Brady Bunch in interviews. Cornell eventually sculpted a route for himself after acquisition piano and guitar lessons prior to finding his way to the north kit, i m sorry he play in an early incarnation of Soundgarden.

The band developed in 1984 after a duration where Cornell and also bassist Hiro Yamamoto played with each other in a band called the Shemps, ultimately inviting guitarist Kim Thayil to play with them. They made decision the name Soundgarden in tribute to a public organ-pipe sculpture that created sounds in the wind. With the come of drummer Scott Sundquist, Cornell relocated to singing and also playing etc full-time. The following year, they taped three songs because that the pivotal Deep six compilation, which put them alongside other grunge architects Melvins and also Green river (the last of which contained future Pearl Jam and Mudhoney members). Soundgarden placed out your debut single, the trippy, ominous “Hunted Down,” and EP, Screaming Life, in 1987.


After the release of an additional EP – 1988’s Fopp, whose title monitor is improbably one Ohio football player cover and significant the arrival of drummer Matt Cameron – Soundgarden came into their own on their first full-length, 1988’s Ultramega OK. That document featured the brooding, dramatic Cornell standout “Beyond the Wheel,” which showed off his outstanding vocal ability and the band’s proclivity for coupling heavy-metal riffing v shuddering noise affectations, foreshadowing grunge. They would later on streamline this sound ~ above 1989’s an ext metallic Louder than Love, a locomotive onslaught the chunky riffs, alpha-male fantasies and quirky humor.

On march 19th, 1990, Wood, Cornell’s former roommate, passed away of a heroin overdose. The death shook the Soundgarden frontman, who wrote the songs “Reach Down” and “Say Hello 2 Heaven” together a visceral reaction come Wood’s death. Cornell request Wood’s mommy Love Bone bandmates, stone Gossard and also Jeff Ament, if lock would document the songs through him. With the enhancement of neighborhood guitarist Mike McCready, an unknown guest vocalist at the time called Eddie Vedder and Soundgarden’s Cameron, the group ended up being Temple of the Dog. Their lone self-titled album came out in 1991 and also eventually go platinum; the group, sans the Soundgarden members, ultimately re-formed as Pearl Jam and issued your debut, Ten, the exact same year.

Meanwhile, Cornell and his bandmates were picking themselves up after ~ the exit of Yamamoto, whom they changed with bassist Ben Shepherd. Feeling energized creatively from temple of the Dog, Cornell wrote numerous songs the would become singles on their 1991 album, Badmotorfinger. “Jesus Christ Pose,” a charging Cornell-penned number, was banned on MTV, yet “Outshined” and “Rusty Cage” – the last of which would be spanned by Johnny Cash – came to be MTV access time and component of the momentum that moved Seattle come music’s forefront at the time, along with releases by Nirvana and also Pearl Jam. The album ultimately went double-platinum.

The group’s follow-up, 1994’s Superunknown, would be their greatest release: a Number One album that would go top top to it is in certified five-times platinum many thanks to a string of hits. A creepy video for the psychedelic number “Black hole Sun” assisted the tune come to be the group’s many enduring song, when “Spoonman,” “The Day ns Tried come Live,” “My Wave” and also “Fell on black color Days” overcame both the mainstream-rock and different charts the year.


Despite his success, Cornell feel ambivalent about the fist his hometown was getting, specifically after kurt Cobain’s suicide. “It’s hard not to be a little bitter around it,” he stated in a 1994 Rolling stone interview. “We lost great friends in the process. And all of a sudden you realize the it’s turned right into something that’s thought about a fashion statement. It’s prefer mining. It’s favor somebody came right into your city v bulldozers and water compressors and mined your own perfect mountain and excavated it and threw out what lock didn’t want and also left the remainder to rot. It’s that bad.”

Decades later, he looked earlier on the duration surrounding Superunknown in a 2014 Rolling stone interview and revealed he’d to be going through depression around the time he composed the song “Fell on black Days.” “I’d i found it in mine life there would certainly be periods where I would feel prefer things aren’t going so well, however they weren’t based upon any particular thing,” the said. “There wasn’t a catastrophe, over there wasn’t a connection split, nobody obtained in a automobile wreck. Mine outlook simply changed. That was kind of a terrifying thought. I want to create a song about that.”

1996’s Number Two–charting down on the Upside, consisted of several hits (“Pretty Noose,” “Burden in mine Hand,” “Blow up the external World,” all written by Cornell) and also a Cornell-written outtake from that album, “Bleed Together,” featured ~ above the band’s A-Sides comp would be the group’s last hit prior to their 1997 breakup.

Cornell’s very first solo album, 1999’s Euphoria Morning, included the struggle “Can’t change Me,” through the musician developing the supergroup Audioslave 2 years later on with Rage versus the machine guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk. As with Soundgarden’s mid-Nineties high point, the band’s self-titled 2002 debut contained several access time – your moody “Like a Stone” went gold – and also their follow-up, out of Exile, saw Number One ~ above Billboard on the stamin of the multi-textured Number One single “Be Yourself.” The tape issued an additional full-length, Revelations, in 2006 and split increase the following year, prompting Cornell to return to his solo career. Both 2007’s carry On and also 2009’s critically maligned participation with Timbaland, Scream, make it right into the optimal 20 the Billboard’s album chart.


After durations of drug and also alcohol abuse throughout assorted points of his beforehand career, Cornell managed to get sober in the so late 2000s after ~ a insignificant in rehab. “It was the most complicated period of mine life,” that told the Guardian in 2009. “I’m happy I gained through it. I’m not sure if to be the best place for me, but it worked.”

The latter part of Cornell’s life was significant by reunions. Soundgarden reactivated in 2010, issuing King animal in 2012, while temple of the Dog came together to tour in 2016. Audioslave played a one-off gig on Inauguration job of this year. Every the while, Cornell continued his solo career, putting out the live acoustic album Songbook in 2011 and studio record greater Truth in 2015.

In 2014, he explained to Rolling stone how Artis the “Spoonman,” the demonstrate who triggered the Soundgarden song, inspired him to execute his acoustic tours. “I remember sitting in a room, through eight or 10 people, and he walked in through this animal leather satchel the he always carries and took spoons and also stuff out of it,” Cornell said. “And everyone’s jaw dropped. Ns thought, ‘This guy deserve to walk right into a room and get that reaction.’ and I suddenly felt sort of embarrassed and also smaller, ’cause ns felt choose I call myself a singer, a songwriter, a musician – and I’ve sold countless records and toured the people – yet I can’t simply walk in a room, pick up one instrument and entertain everyone and their jaws drop. The stuck in the back of my mind, and also at some point I began to pursue that.”

Most recently, he’d taped an orchestral number, “The Promise,” because that the movie of the same name and had been mentioning writing for a brand-new Soundgarden album.

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At the time of his death, Cornell was married to Vicky Karayiannis. They had actually a daughter, Toni, in 2004 and a son, Christopher, the complying with year. He’s previously been married to Susan Silver, who had at one point managed Soundgarden and Alice in Chains. The couple had a daughter, Lillian Jean, in 2000.

Even at the elevation of fame, Cornell kept an also head about his success. “I can’t say that we’re urged by anything yet achievement,” that told Rolling rock in 1992. “And the success isn’t based on things prefer Grammy nominations or chart positions. It’s based upon what we perform musically and how us personally feel about it. Nothing could be worse because that us, ns think, than if we made what we assumed was the worst record we’d made, and also it ended up selling a lot. Ns think we’re every so self-conscious and prone come disillusionment that that would really make our lives tough as far as wanting come make one more record after ~ that.”