Death of Chris Cor­nell stuns fans

Singer had per­formed just hours be­fore he died

Cape Breton Post - - Arts/ Entertainment -

Chris Cor­nell had be­come one of the most lauded and re­spected con­tem­po­rary lead singers in rock mu­sic, thanks to his charis­matic en­ergy on­stage and wide vo­cal range. He was a leader of the grunge move­ment with Seat­tle-based Soundgar­den - with whom he gained crit­i­cal and com­mer­cial ac­claim - but also found suc­cess out­side the band with other projects, in­clud­ing Au­dioslave, Tem­ple of the Dog as well as solo al­bums.

His death Wed­nes­day night stunned his fam­ily and his die-hard fans, who Cor­nell just per­formed for hours ear­lier at a show in Detroit. Po­lice said Thurs­day that the 52-year-old’s death is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated as a pos­si­ble sui­cide. Detroit po­lice spokesman Michael Woody told The As­so­ci­ated Press on Thurs­day that he couldn’t re­lease de­tails about why po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the death as a pos­si­ble sui­cide, but noted there were “ba­sic things ob­served at the scene” and an­other po­lice spokesman told two Detroit news­pa­pers that the singer was found with a band around his neck.

The Wayne County Med­i­cal Ex­am­iner’s of­fice will make an of­fi­cial de­ter­mi­na­tion about the cause of death. An au­topsy is be­ing con­ducted Thurs­day and some in­for­ma­tion from it is ex­pected to be re­leased later in the day.

Soundgar­den’s cur­rent tour kicked off in late April and was planned to run through May 27.

Cor­nell was widely re­spected in the mu­sic in­dus­try: He reached suc­cess in ev­ery band lineup he was part of it, his voice was mem­o­rable and pow­er­ful, and he was a skilled song­writer, even col­lab­o­rat­ing on a num­ber of film soundtracks, in­clud­ing the James Bond theme song for 2006’s “Casino Royale”.

“To cre­ate the in­ti­macy of an acous­tic per­for­mance there needed to be real sto­ries. They need to be kind of real and they need to have a be­gin­ning, mid­dle and an end. That’s al­ways a chal­lenge in three in a half or four min­utes - to be able to do that, to be able to do it di­rectly,” Cor­nell said of song­writ­ing in a 2015 in­ter­view with The As­so­ci­ated Press.

Cor­nell, who grew up in Seat­tle, said he was kicked out of school at age 15 and he started us­ing drugs at 13.

But at 16 he grew se­ri­ous about mu­sic, learn­ing to play the drums while also work­ing as a bus­boy and dish­washer.

He even­tu­ally be­came a Grammy win­ner with Soundgar­den, formed in 1984 and com­ing out of the rapidly grow­ing Seat­tle mu­sic scene, which in­cluded Nir­vana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains.

“There’s some­thing about Seat­tle, it’s al­ways been a hard rock town, too. I didn’t re­al­ize grow­ing up as kid that Seat­tle had much more of a hard rock fo­cus and a guitar rock fo­cus than other cities did,” Cor­nell told the AP in 2011. “It was like a Detroit, only north­west kind of. There’s no rea­son that I would think I know how to de­fine it, but it’s al­ways been there.”

The band, who had re­leased hit songs and found suc­cess, marked a main­stream break­through with “Su­pe­run­k­nown,” its 1994 al­bum that launched five sin­gles,

won them two Gram­mys and sold more than five mil­lion units in the U.S.

In 2001, Cor­nell joined Au­dioslave, a su­per­group that in­cluded former Rage Against the Ma­chine mem­bers Tom Morello, Brad Wilk and Tim Com­mer­ford. The band re­leased three al­bums in six years.

Cor­nell also col­lab­o­rated with mem­bers of what would be­come Pearl Jam to form Tem­ple of the Dog, which pro­duced a self-ti­tled al­bum in 1991 in trib­ute to friend An­drew Wood, former front­man of Mother Love Bone.

Cor­nell also re­leased solo al­bums, and Nielsen Mu­sic said as a band mem­ber and solo act, the singer sold al­most 15 mil­lion al­bums and 8.8 mil­lion dig­i­tal songs in the U.S.

The mu­sic in­dus­try mourned his sud­den death on­line. El­ton John tweeted, “Shocked and sad­dened by the sud­den EFBUI PG ÄnrD ISJTDPSOFMM " HSFBU TJOHFS

song­writer and the loveli­est man.”

“RIP Chris Cor­nell. In­cred­i­bly Tal­ented. In­cred­i­bly Young. In­cred­i­bly Missed,” Jimmy Page tweeted.

AP PHOTO

Chris Cor­nell had be­come one of the most lauded and re­spected con­tem­po­rary lead singers in rock mu­sic, thanks to his charis­matic en­ergy on­stage and wide vo­cal range. He was a leader of the grunge move­ment with Seat­tle-based Soundgar­den, but also found suc­cess with other projects.

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