Sad new arrived this morning with the announcement of Chris Cornell‘s death, after being found unresponsive in his Detroit hotel room. The Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman was just 52 years old. Now new reports from the Detroit medical examiner have determined the cause of death to be a suicide, according to Associated Press, though a full autopsy has not yet been turned over. He had just performed a set with Soundgarden the night prior.
Cornell, along with some of the early-90s’ pioneering garage rock outfits, had a singular voice in rock and psychedelia. Soundgarden, hailing from the grunge capital of Seattle, had its start in the mid-to-late-80s, but would reach the world’s stage after the band’s fourth studio album, Superunknown, brokethrough (anchored by the hit single “Black Hole Sun,”) debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. The band would break up at the beginning of 1997, but by 2001, Cornell would link up with Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk of Rage Against The Machine to begin his next chapter heading Audioslave in supergroup formation. They recorded and released three albums between 2002 and 2006, establishing themselves as a standalone presence and not just a mash of two powerhouse configurations.
Soundgarden would reunite by 2010 and go on to release two more albums, with another en route. Sadly, we may never hear the group’s seventh studio album. Hear just how far Cornell and Soundgarden’s influence could be felt in D’Angelo’s rendition of their classic, “Black Hole Sun,” below.
Voodoo & Old Donuts.