Waking up on May 18 did not come easily to any '90s child upon learning that Chris Cornell—frontman of Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, and Audioslave—passed away at 52.
Cornell was found on the bathroom floor and pronounced dead at the scene on May 17 after performing in Detroit with Soundgarden. The Detroit Police's investigation is leaning toward the possibility of suicide, reports Variety.
Following the tragic news, a rep issued the following statement: “Chris Cornell passed away late Wednesday night in Detroit, MI. His wife Vicky and family were shocked to learn of his sudden and unexpected passing, and they will be working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause. They would like to thank his fans for their continuous love and loyalty and ask that their privacy is respected at this time."
For music junkies everywhere—especially those who grew up in the '90s, Chris Cornell was a huge deal, an inspiration, a legend. The proof lives in these 15 songs that you can listen to while reading this piece.
Born Christopher John Boyle on July 20, 1964, in Detroit, Michigan, Cornell was considered the chief architect of the '90s grunge movement.
But first, he was a drummer, a fan of The Beatles, a chef at a seafood restaurant, and part of a cover band.
In 1984 he founded Soundgarden, a grunge band that formed in Seattle, with former cover band members Kim Thayil and Hiro Yamamoto. From 1984 to 1997, Soundgarden was at the core of their career, and together with bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chains, brought the grunge movement to the forefront.
Soundgarden, who was this the first grunge band to sign to a major label (A&M Records in 1988), is popularly known for their Grammy-winning songs Black Hole Sun and Spoonman, among other classic hits.
After their massive success and five studio albums, the band called it quits in 2010, to kick off solo projects.
During this time, Cornell founded tribute band Temple of the Dog in honor of his late friend Andrew Wood, lead singer of Malfunkshun and Mother Love Bone.
In 2001, he, alongside band members of Rage Against the Machine, gave birth to Audioslave, the masterminds behind Like a Stone. Until 2007, the alternative rock group dropped three albums, obtained three Grammy nods, and became the first American rock band to perform a free open-air concert in Castro's Cuba.
After disbanding in 2007 "due to irresolvable personality conflicts as well as musical differences," Cornell continued his solo venture. His single The Keeper, from his 2011 solo live album Songbook received a Golden Globe Award nomination for the film Machine Gun Preacher.
In the midst of it all, Soundgarden reunited in 2010 and was currently on tour.
Cornell founded three legendary rock bands, he was a guitar god and had one of the best voices of all time, his voice was nothing short of a religious experience—there's no way around it. On top of all of this, he had piercing blue eyes that made anyone swoon.
It's heartbreaking, but he's gone too soon.