Thursday, May 18, 2017


Chris Cornell, the dynamic singer whose band Soundgarden was one of the architects of grunge music, died on Wednesday night in Detroit after the band had earlier performed there. He was 52.

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office said the death was a suicide by hanging. It said a full autopsy had not yet been completed.

Soundgarden played at the Fox Theater in Detroit on Wednesday night, and it had been scheduled to perform in Columbus, Ohio, on Friday at the Rock on the Range festival.

Mr. Cornell helped form Soundgarden in Seattle, and Sub Pop, then a fledgling record label, released the group’s first single, “Hunted Down,” in 1987, as well as two subsequent EPs. The group’s debut album, “Ultramega OK,” came a year later.

The album “Badmotorfinger,” released in 1991, benefited from a swell of attention that was beginning to surround the Seattle scene, where Soundgarden, along with Nirvana and Pearl Jam, were playing a high-octane, high-angst brand of rock ’n’ roll.

Soundgarden’s musical journeys tended toward the knotty and dark, plunging into off-kilter meters and punctuated by Mr. Cornell’s voice, which could quickly shift from a soulful howl to a gritty growl.

Three of Soundgarden’s studio albums have been certified platinum, including “Superunknown,” from 1994, which featured “Black Hole Sun,” “Fell on Black Days,” “Spoonman” and “My Wave.”

Mr. Cornell acknowledged in interviews that he had struggled with drug use throughout his life. In a 1994 Rolling Stone article, he described himself as a “daily drug user at 13” who had quit by the time he turned 14.

After Soundgarden disbanded in 1997, a breakup that would last for more than a decade, Mr. Cornell returned to heavy drug use, telling The Guardian in 2009 that he was a “pioneer” in the abuse of the opiate OxyContin and that he had gone to rehab.


  1. A real shame... Superunknown was one of the last cassettes I wore out...

  2. I was very sad to see that yesterday. Heard he was even planning another Temple of the Dog album.
    Did you know Todd Rundgren was on the Tonight Show this week?

  3. So sad about this one :( They all suck of course, but I really hoped this guy would make it to old age. Such a legendary musician and a huge influence on my life. He and his mates helped get me through high school, too.

    1. It's sad what addiction does to people...such a waste.