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'Devastating loss': Music world mourns death of Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell

May 18,2017 20:10

The news of Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell's death, which his publicist called “sudden and unexpected,” reverberated throughout the music world Thursday morning. Cornell, who died Wednesday in Detroit at age 52, was an important figure in the ...and more »



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By Elahe Izadi By Elahe Izadi May 18 at 5:59 PM

Chris Cornell, the founder and frontman of the bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, died on May 17 in Detroit. He was a key figure in the '90s grunge rock movement. (Amber Ferguson/The Washington Post)

The news of Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell’s death, which his publicist called “sudden and unexpected,” reverberated throughout the music world Thursday morning.
Cornell, who died Wednesday in Detroit at age 52, was an important figure in the grunge rock movement, and he was especially known for his distinct, multi-octave “banshee wailing” voice. A medical examiner determined he died by suicide, the Associated Press reported.
[Chris Cornell dead at 52]
Tributes poured in from musicians of various genres, and included longtime legends and newer artists:
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.”
In a statement, Recording Academy President Neil Portnow called the two-time Grammy award winner “one of the influential originators of the 1990s Seattle grunge scene” whose “dynamic stage presence and impressive vocal range made him a true rock-and-roll icon.”
[Chris Cornell’s singular voice soared above the gloom of grunge]
“Chris’ extraordinary talent will forever live on and inspire fellow musicians and fans worldwide,” Portnow said. “We have lost an innovative member of our creative community, and our sincerest condolences go out to Chris’ family, friends, collaborators, and all who have been impacted by his outstanding artistry.”
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.”

Shocking news. My thoughts are with his family and friends. Going to crank Badmotorfinger.
A post shared by Scott Ian (@scottianthrax) on May 18, 2017 at 1:34am PDT

“This one is shocking. Chris Cornell was one of the benchmark vocalists of our generation,” former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy tweeted. “Devastating loss.”
[Chris Cornell didn’t want to make the video for ‘Black Hole Sun.’ It ended up launching the band to mega-stardom.]
Others in the entertainment world also reacted to the news of Cornell’s passing.
“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.”
This post has been updated.

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