Music world mourns death of Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell
The news of Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell’s death, which his publicist called “sudden and unexpected,” reverberated throughout the music world Thursday morning.
Cornell, 52, was found dead at midnight in his MGM Grand hotel room in Detroit. He was an important figure in the grunge rock movement, and he was especially known for his distinct, multi-octave “banshee wailing” voice.
A spokesperson for the Detroit Police Department told the Detroit Free Press that Cornell was found unresponsive on the floor of his hotel room with a band around his neck. The Wayne County medical examiner’s office has ruled his death a suicide by hanging.
Soundgarden played at Detroit’s Fox Theatre hours before Cornell’s death.
Tributes poured in from musicians of various genres, and included legends and newer artists:
“RIP Chris Cornell Incredibly Talented Incredibly Young Incredibly Missed.” — Jimmy Page
“SO SO stunned to hear about Chris Cornell! Such a terrible and sad loss! Thinking of his family tonight! RIP” — Dave Navarro
“A mutual friend called me and tells me my bro passed away. #RIPChrisCornell You are a great artist Love to Vicki and fam.” — Nile Rodgers
“Very sad news about Chris Cornell today. A sad loss of a great talent to the world, his friends and family. Rest In Peace.” — Joe Perry
“Sad 2 hear of Chris Cornell passing. great singer and artist … another blow … RIP” — Billy Idol
“Shocked and saddened by the sudden death of @chriscornell. A great singer, songwriter and the loveliest man.” — Elton John “Rest … Peace” — Chuck D Cornell helped form the rock supergroup Audioslave with members of Rage Against the Machine. The official Twitter account for Rage Against the Machine tweeted a Chris Cornell playlist, writing, “Today’s soundtrack. Let’s celebrate the genius of Chris Cornell.”
Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian posted a picture of Cornell on Instagram, writing, “Shocking news. My thoughts are with his family and friends. Going to crank Badmotorfinger.”
“This one is shocking. Chris Cornell was one of the benchmark vocalists of our generation,” Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy tweeted. “Devastating loss.”
Others in the entertainment world also reacted to the news.
“I’m so shocked to wake up and hear about the sudden passing of Chris Cornell,” Carson Daly tweeted. “A quintessential voice of a generation. Praying for his family.”
“Oh man. Sad to hear of the passing of Chris Cornell.” — Elijah Wood
“RIP Chris Cornell Soundgarden is forever grunge” — Blake Anderson
“I hope it’s OK with the grief police if I say Chris Cornell’s death has come as an unexpected gut punch this morning.” — Ed Byrne
“His voice pulverized all classification, forever otherworldly. My heart goes out to his family. RIP Chris Cornell.” — Will Sasso
Chris Cornell, 52, was found dead at midnight in his MGM Grand hotel room in Detroit. He was an important figure in the grunge rock movement.