CHRIS CORNELL – July 20th 1964 – May 17th 2017

Posted: May 20, 2017 in MUSIC
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American musician, singer, and songwriter. He was the lead vocalist of the bands Soundgarden and Audioslave. He was also known for his numerous solo works and soundtrack contributions since 1991, and as founder and frontman for Temple Of The Dog , the one-off tribute band dedicated to his late friend Andrew Wood.

A preliminary autopsy into the death of Soundgarden and Audioslave singer Chris Cornell has revealed that he took his own life. Chris Cornell it appears took his own life on wednesday night after a storming show in Detroit, he was aged 52, with a statement made to the Associated Press by his representative Brian Bumbery labeling the death “sudden and unexpected”. Cornell had spoken online when arriving in the city, and played for Soundgarden’s Detroit fans only hours earlier.

The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office told the public it had completed the preliminary autopsy, the New York Times reports, although a full autopsy report has not been completed.

A Detroit Police spokesperson revealed in an interview that police responded to a call regarding the suicide of a man, and found him unresponsive with a band around his neck. The man’s wife had called a family friend out of concern, prompting the visit.


A police report from the death of the Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell provides some details about the last 90 minutes of his life. The report appears to back up, in part, what his widow, Vicky, about the role that the prescription drug Ativan may have played in Cornell’s decision to take his own life.

According to The Detroit News , Cornell was in his hotel suite by 11:30PM when his bodyguard, Martin Kristen, stopped by to help him fix his computer. Kristen also gave him two Ativan pills, which he took for anxiety issues. Five minutes later, Vicky spoke with Chris on the telephone, and she told police that he was slurring his words and that he may have taken “an extra Ativan or two.”

At 12:15AM, Vicky called Kristen’s room to ask him to check on Chris, She said that “he did not sound like he is okay,” adding that he was “groggy and just kept saying, ‘I am just tired,’ and hung up the phone.” Upon arriving, Kristen found the door to his room latched and phoned security to get them to open the door, but they refused on the grounds that the room was not registered to Kristen, even though he had a key.

Kristen then kicked the door down, as well as the door to the bedroom of the suite, and found him on the bathroom floor, “with blood running from his mouth and a red exercise band around (his) neck,” the report says. The hotel’s medic, Dawn Jones, arrived at 12:56AM, untied the band and attempted CPR, which was unsuccessful.

An EMS unit arrived on the scene shortly thereafter and was also unable to revive the singer. He was pronounced dead at 1:30AM.

A toxicology report will be able to determine the amount of Ativan Cornell had in his system at the time of his death. Suicidal thoughts are a known side effect of the drug Ativan.

So as we mourn the loss of another musical hero, who has tragically took his own life after one last show in Detroit yesterday, we take a look back at some of the best songs that Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell put his name to.

Say Hello 2 Heaven

One of Cornell’s most emotional and powerful vocal performances, not surprising considering it was delivered as part of Temple Of The Dog. The group — essentially Cornell fronting what would become Pearl Jam — was formed in tribute to his friend Andrew Wood, frontman of Mother Love Bone, who had died from a heroin overdose.


A simple acoustic number, just Cornell and a guitar (doubled at times), it was a world away from the raucous heavy rock of Soundgarden. It featured the delicacy of his voice too, gentle falsetto creeping in where before there was rock god howls and screaming. It was also on the Singles soundtrack that they captured the zeitgeist of the grunge movement (Pearl Jam! Mudhoney! Alice In Chains! And damn near every other Seattle grunge band of note at the time, but not Nirvana).

You Know My Name

Cornell, Chris Cornell. Here he goes bombastic, courtesy of having a theme song to a James Bond movie (the 2006 version of Casino Royale). Goes to a whole other level beyond a standard Cornell rock song courtesy of orchestral backings

Billie Jean

Takes the funky Michael Jackson track and slows it right down. Its almost dirge-like delivery is a perfect showcase of Cornell’s voice. You can imagine it being performed from the corner of a dive bar somewhere. It’s devoid of its original groovin’ bass line and synth stings, but this acoustic guitar- and drums-driven version gives it a level of power not witnessed in the original. Quite possibly the best take on it too (even including The Bates).


As statements of intents for new acts go, this one was one of the best. Anticipation was already at fever pitch for the project (Chris Cornell fronting Rage Against The Machine? Holy hell!), but they knocked it out of the park with their debut song. It deserved all the fireworks that accompanied the song in the video clip. Oh, and that 11 second wail too about three-quarters of the way through the song. Goddamn.


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