UPDATE: It has since been determined that Chris took his own life in his Detroit hotel room. If anyone needs help with their own personal well-being, please get in touch with Lifeline and have a chat. They’re there to help. Lifeline – 13 11 14 or www.lifeline.org.au
I’ve sat here for the past hour trying to find the words to begin this news story, but as I stared blankly at the screen, a whole flood of memories came rushing back about the legendary Chris Cornell and his influence on me and I just didn’t know where to start. Rock fans are slowly coming to terms with the fact the Soundgarden, Audioslave and soloist has passed away at the age of 52, in Detroit.
It was merely hours ago he tweeted positively about Soundgarden‘s performance in the grungy US city, alongside The Pretty Reckless but a statement from his representative Brian Bumbery declared the shock news as “sudden and unexpected” according to The Guardian. Over the years Cornell put his hands in many rock pies and was part of the founding grunge acts to emerge in the late 80’s/early 90’s with Soundgarden alongside Nirvana, Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam just to name a few.
Fans will argue between ‘Spoonman‘ and ‘Black Hole Sun‘ being the songs that launched the band into worldwide recognition and began what would be an epic career spanning over 30 years. Chris, who wasn’t a man likely to be tied down to one project launched Audioslave in 2001 alongside Rage Against the Machine‘s Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk (pretty much everyone besides frontman Zach de la Rocha) which became almost just as successful as his first ensemble. Critics were hard on the band who they stated were a combination of it’s member’s previous acts however over time they began to find their sound and prove they’re more than just a side project.
On top of his busy band commitments the man also managed to pen and perform theme songs to movies such as 2006‘s James Bond reboot Casino Royale and picked up a Grammy nomination for his track ‘The Keeper‘ off the soundtrack to 2011‘s Machine Gun Preacher. But some of his best work came from when he stripped away everything and showed the true emotion and talent hiding behind that iconic voice, including my personal favourite cover of Prince‘s (yes his song) ‘Nothing Compares 2 U‘
While the news is still fresh, we probably won’t find out for a few days what the cause of death was, but Cornell leaves behind a wife, children and family, countless friends and musical peers and a wave of fans across the globe, also still in shock and coming to terms with the news themselves.
Rest in Peace Chris Cornell, thanks for showing us all how to live.
Go join Kurt Cobain and all the other legends in the big concert in the sky…