One of the finest rock voices of this generation, Chris Cornell was found dead in his Detroit hotel room on Wednesday May 17 (US time). His band, Soundgarden, had performed a concert at the city's Fox Theatre only hours before.
Cornell was born on July 20, 1964 in Seattle, Washington. It was from there that the grunge rock scene emerged in the 1980s. After initially playing in a cover band, Cornell formed Soundgarden in 1984 with Hiro Yamamoto and Kim Thayil. The band begun defining a sound that some of the biggest bands in the world would follow (Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains). Soundgarden had a number of influential album and single releases, including 1994's Superunknown which featured a number of singles that are now considered rock classics, such as 'Black Hole Sun' and 'Spoonman'. The band parted ways in 1997 (before reforming in 2012).
Cornell released his solo debut, Euphoria Morning, in 1999, the first of 5 solo albums. In between these releases, he joined together with members of Rage Against The Machine to create the band Audioslave in 2001. They had better chart success than his previous ventures, with seven songs over the course of three albums making the US Hot 100, including hard rock classics 'Cochise' and 'Like a Stone'.
Cornell married twice. His first marriage was with Soundgarden manager Susan Silver. They had one child, Lillian Jean, before divorcing in 2004. He married Vicky Karatiannis the same year. 2 more children followed, a daughter in 2004 and a son in 2005.
Many fellow musicians have paid tribute to Cornell since the news was announced. Some of the tributes are below:
RIP Chris Cornell— Jimmy Page (@JimmyPage) May 18, 2017
Incredibly Missed. pic.twitter.com/pKNI4tKiXz
SO SO stunned to hear about Chris Cornell! Such a terrible and sad loss! Thinking of his family tonight! RIP— Dave Navarro (@DaveNavarro) May 18, 2017
Sad 2 hear of Chris Cornell passing..great singer and artist... another blow…RIP— Billy Idol (@BillyIdol) May 18, 2017
Very sad news about Chris Cornell today. A sad loss of a great talent to the world, his friends and family. Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/BlgxE6cJLH— Joe Perry (@JoePerry) May 18, 2017
Photo by Ivo Kendra (Chris Cornell) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons