Soundgarden's Chris Cornell Dead Of Suicide At 52
Did Soundgarden's Chris Cornell drop a hint to loved ones and fans at his last performance in Detroit last night? The 52-year old singer in three bands (Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple of the Dog) and a solo career was found dead in his hotel room after the show.
Authorities confirm he hung himself. Fans say there was nothing in Soundgarden's show to suggest anything was wrong, until the last song of the encore when Cornell sang the words of "In My Time of Dying", an old folk-blues song performed by Bob Dylan and Led Zeppelin.
Cornell had spoken in the past of depression and substance abuse, "mostly alcohol" as he put it. But he managed to get sober in the late 2000s after a stint in rehab: "It was the most difficult period of my life," he told the Guardian in 2009. "I'm lucky I got through it. I'm not sure if (rehab) was the best place for me, but it worked." Along with his musical legacy, he leaves behind wife Vicky and their two children - 11-year old Christopher and 12-year old daughter Toni - as well as a 16-year-old daughter Lillian from his previous marriage to Susan Silver. Like many of his Seattle brethren, his social consciousness was never far from the surface and his philanthropy involved the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation to support children facing challenges, including homelessness, poverty, abuse, and neglect.
Fellow musicians were stunned by Cornell's death and paid copious tributes: His partner in Audioslave, guitar wizard Tom Morello, posted on Instagram: "I am devastated and deeply saddened that you are gone dear friend but your unbridled rock power, delicate haunting melodies and the memory of your smile are with us forever. Your beautiful voice and beautiful self will always be in my heart. God bless you and your family." Elton John wrote, "Shocked and saddened by the sudden death of Chris Cornell. A great singer, songwriter and the loveliest man." Other kind words came from Jimmy Page, Nile Rogers, Dave Navarro, Perry Farrell, Gavin Rossdale, St. Vincent, Elijah Wood, Joe Perry, Peter Frampton, Billy Idol, Sheryl Crow, and many others.
Chris Cornell's suicide is the latest and hopefully last self-inflicted death of prominent musicians of the Grunge Rock scene, which mostly involved a closely-knit group of Seattle musicians. In fact, Grunge's introduction to the mainstream coincided with the 1990 overdose death of Cornell's former roommate Andrew Wood of Mother Love Bone, whose members would form Pearl Jam and Temple of the Dog with Cornell, who took on the side project whilst rising with Soundgarden. In 1994, Nirvana's Kurt Cobain took a large dose of heroin and shot himself. Six years later to the day, Alice In Chains singer Layne Staley died of a heroin overdose in his Seattle condominium. Scott Weiland's success wasn't born of Seattle but paralleled it; the Stone Temple Pilots' and Velvet Revolver singer died in 2015. It leaves Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder as the last man standing of the Grunge years'.