One of the best rock vocalists I have ever heard sings no more.
Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, a founding father of grunge, dead at 52
Chris Cornell, a key figure in the grunge rock movement as the co-founder and banshee-voiced frontman of Soundgarden, died Wednesday night in Detroit sometime after playing a show with the Grammy-winning Seattle band at the Fox Theatre. He was 52.
Brian Bumbery, a publicist for Cornell, confirmed the singer’s death to the Associated Press, calling it “sudden and unexpected.” Cornell was in the middle of a national tour with Soundgarden, which was in the midst of writing and recording its first new album in five years.
“Finally back to Rock City!!!!” Cornell tweeted just hours before his death.
He shunned fame, and was open about his struggles with substance abuse over the years, particularly drinking.
“I never liked being recognized to begin with, and I was never much of a social person, so this gave me a chance to play the ‘I don’t want to go out’ card,” he said. “I would just stay in and drink.”
“I could drink a lot, and I tended to have violent outbursts,” he added.
In 2002, he “had to come to the conclusion, the sort of humbling conclusion that, guess what, I’m no different than anybody else, I’ve got to sort of ask for help — not something I ever did, ever,” as he told Blabbermouth, so he checked himself into rehab.
“I actually like rehab a lot,” he told Spin. “It’s like school; it’s interesting. I’m learning that I can be teachable at age 38.”
Until they recently reunited to make a new record and tour, I thought Soundgarden was pretty much finished. Cornell also got together with members of Rage Against the Machine to form Audioslave; they broke up, but recently reunited for a gig in LA in January to protest Trump.
Cornell made solo records too, in which he branched with some interesting collaborations. I have always loved his magnificent cover of Billie Jean.
Black Hole Sun sounds more sweet, sad and poignant than ever today.
Sincere wishes for healing and peace to his band mates, family, friends and fans.