The rock world today was mourning the death of Chris Cornell, the singer whose remarkable vocal range made him one of music’s most compelling frontmen. Cornell, who rose to fame with Soundgarden and was known for his work with Audioslave, Temple of the Dog and as a solo artist, was 52.
Cornell was found dead in his hotel room after a concert in Detroit. The Associated Press reports that the medical examiner determined the singer hung himself. He was found with a band around his neck, according to reports in Detroit newspapers.
As the New Yorker points out in a remembrance today, Cornell is the latest iconic figure from the grunge boom of the 1990s to fall victim to suicide and drug addiction.
Soundgarden, who were schedule to headline two festivals this weekend (one, PointFest in St. Louis, has been canceled), closed Wednesday night’s show with “Slaves and Bulldozers,” but, according to reports and several videos on YouTube, melded the song with lyrics from Led Zeppelin’s “In My Time of Dying.”
Reactions to his death filled social media today, including a missive from Courtney Love that said, “Please say hi to all my loved ones.”
Jimmy Page: “Incredibly Talented. Incredibly Young. Incredibly Missed.”
Tom Morello: “I love you, brother. Thank you for your friendship and your humor and your intellect and your singular and unmatched talent. It was a great honor to know you as a friend and as a band mate. I am devastated and deeply saddened that you are gone dear friend but your unbridled rock power, delicate haunting melodies and the memory of your smile are with us forever. Your beautiful voice and beautiful self will always be in my heart. God bless you and your family.”
Elton John: “Shocked and saddened by the sudden death of @chriscornell. A great singer, songwriter and the loveliest man.”
Steven Tyler: “HERE’S A NEW STAR IN THE HEAVENS TONIGHT…THAT WILL SHINE FOREVER FROM THE MEMORY OF YOUR DREAM…YOU WERE THE ICING ON EVERY BAND YOU PLAYED WITH…YOU WERE A GREAT FRIEND CHRIS…THE WORLD WILL MISS YOU DEEPLY…SADLY…LOVINGLY…”
Perry Farrell: “A shining voice in music has left us in the midnight. He was a complex and gentle soul #ChrisCornell has flown into the black hole sun.”
Courtney Love: “Goodbye darling boy. Please say hi to all my loved ones. I cried for you today. Rip.”
Joe Perry: “Very sad news about Chris Cornell today. A sad loss of a great talent to the world, his friends and family. Rest In Peace.”
Amanda Palmer: “So sad to hear about chris cornell. another loss in the world of music…a hug to all of his fans. listen to his voice with love today…”
With Cornell at the front, Soundgarden busted out of the Seattle scene along with Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains. The band broke into the mainstream with the 1994 album “Superunknown,” which won two Grammys.