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Chris Cornell, rock legend

Cornell was one of the two singers still alive of grunge's big 5
Taken from Rolling Stone magazine/Photo: Ken Settle
18/05/2017
12:29
Newsroom
Seattle, Washington
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With a near four octave vocal range, Chris Cornell, born Christoper John Boyle, became one of the most important architects of the grunge movement in the 90's with Soundgarden, who emerged as one of the greatest bands in Seattle's music scene, along with groups such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam.

Formed in 1984 by Cornell, guitarist Kim Thayil and bassist Hiro Yamamoto, the band gained popularity with their third installment, “Badmotorfinger”, which included top hits such as “Jesus Christ Pose”, “Rusty Cage” and “Outshined”.

Cornell also worked with Stone Gossard, Mike McReady and Jeff Ament - musicians who would later go on to form another grunge behemoth, Pearl Jam - in the band known as Temple of the Dog and released a self-titled album in 1991 paying homage to the late Andy Wood, ex-leader of Mother Love Bone.

Three years later, Soundgarden would break right into the mainstream with their colossal “Superunknown”, which peaked 1st on the Billboard top 200 and was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Rock Album in 1995. The album contained great singles like “Spoonman”, “Black Hole Sun”, “Fell on Black Days”, “My Wave” and “The Day I Tried to Live”.

Soundgarden disbanded in 1997 due to problems and growing tensions among the members, but Chris went on to pursue his solo career.

In 2011, he joined Audioslave, band formed by ex-members of Rage Against the Machine, Tom Morello, Timm Commerford and Brad Wilk. The band released three albums in six years and performed the first rock concert of an American band in Cuba, although some local artists state that is not true.

Audoislave disbanded in 2007, but Cornell and Soundgarden reunited in 2012, year in which they released their sixth album “King Animal”.

Along with all this, he released 5 solo albums: “Euphoria Morning (1999)", "Carry On (2007)", "Scream (2009)", "Songbook (2011)" and "Higher Truth (2015)”.

Cornell was voted “Rock's Greatest Singer” by readers of Guitar World magazine, ranked 4th in the list of “Heavy Metal's All-Time Top 100 Vocalists” by Hit Parader and 9th on the list of “Best Lead Singers of All Time” by Rolling Stone, as well as 12th on the “22 Greatest Voices in Music” MTV's list.

From Chris' generation, which changed the history of rock forever, only a few are left alive.

The first to go was Kurt Cobain, leader of Nirvana, who committed suicide in 1994, although his drug abuse was well known. He was followed by Layne Staley, of Alice in Chains, who died in 2002 from a lethal overdose of heroin and cocaine.

In December 2015, at the age of 48, Scott Weiland, leader of Stone Temple Pilots, was found dead on his tour bus. Again, drugs were involved. So far, Eddie Vedder, Pearl Jam's singer, is the only grunge icon left alive from the big 5 of grunge.

Besides music, Cornell was also devoted to humanitarian causes with his Chris and Vicky Foundation, which helps homeless children who live in poverty and who are victims of abuse and abandonment.

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