Rock Singer Chris Cornell Dies

Two-time Grammy Award-winning rocker Chris Cornell died May 17 as a result of self-inflicted hanging in his Detroit, Michigan hotel room at the age of 52. Cornell was on tour at the time of his death and had completed a concert earlier in the evening.


Reportedly Cornell’s wife had called a friend to check on Chris who then found the singer unresponsive on the floor of the hotel room.

Cornell was the lead singer for the rock bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, as well as having a solo music career. A Seattle native, Cornell is seen as one of the pioneers of the grunge music era.

As a result of Cornell’s death, the music festival Pointfest canceled the May 20 performances in Maryland Heights, MO; however, Rock on the Range will continue on without the Soundgarden performance on May 19.

Cornell, guitarist Kim Thayil and bass player Hiro Yamamoto formed Soundgarden in 1984. The Seattle rockers had released a number of albums before releasing what became their breakout album “Superunknown” in 1994. From 1996 to 2010 the rockers went on hiatus as a band.

Though best known for his work with Soundgarden and Audioslave, Cornell also performed with Temple of the Dog – a band whose debut album went on to be certified platinum for selling a million copies in the United States.

He also had a solo career where he released five albums.

Chris Cornell’s music can be heard on numerous soundtracks including “Say Anything…,” “Pacific Heights,” “Wayne’s World,” “Singles” — where he also made his only acting appearance — “Beavis and Butt-Head,” “Roswell,” “Miami Vice,” Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” “Casino Royale” – the first solo male artist to write and record a Bond film title song, “Scrubs,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “Life on Mars,” “One Tree Hill,” “The Avengers,” “Sons of Anarchy,” “Supernatural,” “Bones,” “13 Hours,” “Viny,l, “The Promise” and a variety of live performances and talk shows.

Cornell also worked with a number of musicians that spanned the musical genres including the Zac Brown Band, Alice Cooper, Timberland, Mudhoney, Santana and Screaming Trees.

Along with his 14 Grammy Award nominations and two wins, Cornell received the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award for his dedication to the MusiCares MAP Fund. His band Audioslave was the first band from the United States to give a free stadium performance on the island nation of Cuba.

He was born Christopher John Boyle on July 20, 1964, in Seattle, Washington, the fifth of six children. He began taking drugs when he was only 13-years-old, but getting serious about music – he began with the drums – helped him to focus on turning his life around. Cornell was eventually able to get completely clean of drugs and alcohol.

Cornell is survived by his second wife Vicky and children – Lillian Jean, Christopher Nicholas and Toni.

photo courtesy of: By christopher simon – originally posted to Flickr as IMG_0126, CC BY 2.0,


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