Chris Cornell, frontman of both Audioslave and Soundgarden and the pioneer of grunge, died Wednesday night at the age of 52. The death has been ruled a suicide, much to the dismay and sadness of devoted fans. Soundgarden had played the night of Cornell’s death, and was scheduled to play Friday in Columbus, Ohio. Cornell had his demons.
Band breakups and industry trouble had often led the singer to spiral into excessive drug use. Even so, Cornell had remained quintessential to the growth and subsistence of the grunge scene. Many believed Soundgarden’s tour and effective return spelled the end of Cornell’s troubled past. The band reunited in 2010, and has been performing consistently since. Chris was a musical force to be reckoned with, his commanding voice demonstrating an impressive range and the ability to shift from soulful to gritty and heavy.
He, alongside Cobain of Nirvana, Staley of Alice in Chains and Vedder of Pearl Jame, will always be considered one of the grunge era’s most influential figures. It is important to mourn his loss, but to revel in his accomplishments rather than dwell in the sadness of his passing. The impact Chris Cornell has made on music will never be forgotten.