As one of the foremost figures of the shifting music scene in the 1990s, Chris Cornell and his now legendary band Soundgarden were one of the hardest hitting music acts to break out from Seattle, Washington. The city boasted some of the most premier talent in the country, and bands like Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, and Nirvana all came from the home of grunge music. While they may have been the last of the big four to gain immense amounts of mainstream attention, Soundgarden was arguably the most talented band of the bunch, with Chris Cornell’s voice in particular being a huge reason why. His vocal range allowed Soundgarden to take their music to places that their contemporaries couldn’t, and Chris quickly became worshiped by loyal fans around the world.
After the demise of Soundgarden, Chris, being the talent that he was, embarked on a successful solo career, and would go on to reform the supergroup Audioslave, which featured members from Rage Against The Machine. Audioslave quickly took the music scene by storm, and Chris was once again on top. Much like Soundgarden, Audioslave would meet their end, and Chris would turn back to solo music.
After reuniting Soundgarden, the band seemed to be in full swing, releasing new music, and touring the world. Sadly, on May 18, 2017, Chris Cornell tragically passed away in his hotel room. He left a massive hole in the music industry that he dominated for years, and fans mourned the loss of a legend. These 15 details about the death of a legend will no doubt give you a clearer view into the mind of one of rock music’s most iconic voices.
15. He Had Played A Show In Detroit The Night Before
While on their tour of the United States, Soundgarden made a stop in Rock City to perform a show for eager fans. Just a few nights before, they performed a show at the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City, and the fans in Detroit couldn’t wait to see the iconic rockers perform their classic cuts as well as their newest releases. Prior to the show, Chris Cornell showed fans his excitement for the pending performance by sending out a tweet of the theater. He seemed ecstatic that he was back in Detroit, and was ready to give eager fans the show of a lifetime.
The show in Detroit was set to be their 12th of the tour, and sadly it would end up being their last. I couldn’t imagine seeing one of my favorite bands one night, and then waking up to learn that the singer had died during the night.
14. There Were Still 6 Shows Left On Soundgarden’s Tour
After the news of Chris Cornell’s death swept the nation, fans mourned the loss of the music legend. Soundgarden songs flooded the radio, and Chris’ peers and colleagues poured out their respects for him. He truly touched millions of lives, and his hand in reshaping the face of music led to much younger artists showing their condolences after that fateful night. His death did occur after performing a show at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, and sadly, the band still had several tour dates that were left on their 1-month tour.
With shows still left in Ohio, Missouri, Colorado, Texas, and Oklahoma, Soundgarden’s brief tour came to a screeching halt. They had already performed 12 shows, and were on the home stretch. Hitting the road with your bandmates can be a taxing experience, and the pressures of performance and being away from your family can cause plenty of strife.
13. His Body Was Discovered By His Body Guard
During the band’s overnight stay in Detroit, Chris Cornell stayed in the MGM Grand, and the room that he rented would serve as the last place that he would be alive. It is not uncommon for established bands to stay in nicer hotels while on tour. Unlike their younger counterparts, they can afford the luxury of avoiding a Motel 6. While I’m sure the hotel staff was excited to have to music icon staying in their hotel, none of them could have predicted that Cornell would lose his life in his now infamous room 1136.
Sadly, it would be Cornell’s bodyguard that discovered his lifeless body in his hotel room. The pain that his bodyguard must have felt after discovering his dead friend had to have been both shocking and unbearable. The beautiful hotel will no doubt serve as a tourist spot now due to Cornell’s death inside the confines of the building.
12. His Death Was Ruled A Suicide
Shortly after Cornell’s body was discovered, investigators quickly got to work to determine his cause of death. He was discovered with an exercise band around his neck, and they wanted to get to the bottom of this discovery. They quickly moved to the security team to watch the tapes from the night before in an attempt to discover a murderer enter Cornell’s room. After viewing the footage, investigators saw no one else enter or exit the room after Cornell. With this information in hand and the circumstances surrounding his death, it was ultimately ruled a suicide by hanging.
It is never easy dealing with the loss of a loved one, and there is no solace to be found in the fact that he wasn’t murdered. Cornell took his own life that fateful night, and the world lost one of its most inspiring talents. His wife lost her husband, and his children lost their father.
11. Drugs Were Discovered In His System
It is not uncommon for drugs to make their way into musician’s lives, and Chris Cornell was no different than any other musician who dabbled in substance abuse. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll rule the music scene, though not everyone lets it completely take them down. In the past, Chris Cornell had dealt with substance abuse issues, but had seemed to clean his life up for the better. It is no easy feat, but Cornell was able to do it for the better of his life and for his family. The singer even did a stint in rehab back in 2002, and ceased his drinking a few years later.
After his death, coroners performed a toxicology report to see of there were any drugs in his system at the time of his death. Sadly, several drugs were discovered in Cornell’s system, including an anti-anxiety medication, and a sedative. It states that these didn’t contribute to his death, but his widow believes that they impaired his judgement and sent him on a dark path.
10. He Had Suffered From Depression
Aside from his substance abuse issues throughout his life, Chris Cornell also dealt with an immense amount of depression. In fact, Cornell had stated in the past that his depression was so severe that he had considered committing suicide. There is no doubt that his substance abuse issues compounded his depression problems, and the two forces together are deadly enough to push people over the edge. Not only did Chris suffer from depression for years, he also dealt with panic disorders which stemmed from prior drug abuse.
For as much fame and popularity that he achieved during his career, Chris was a man that was plagued by personal demons throughout his life. Let this serve as a cautionary tale for those of you who are going through life with pain and depression. Help can be found for those who seek it. Because of his choices that night, the world lost a truly special talent.
9. His Music Video Was Removed From YouTube After His Death
Back in 2015, Chris Cornell had released his 5th solo album entitled Higher Truth, and the album was met with some solid reviews. Chris had a wildly successful solo career that saw him perform the song for the film Casino Royale. In order to promote the release of Higher Truth, Cornell released the song “Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart” and its music video in August of 2015. While no one thought too much about what was being depicted in the video at the time of its release, the video was quickly removed from YouTube a few short days after his death.
In a bizarre coincidence, the video is focused around Cornell who is on death row and is being sentenced to death by hanging. He is able to escape the jaws of certain death in the video, but that doesn’t make it any less hard to see. Cornell’s son also appears in the video, making it an easy choice to yank from YouTube.
8. His Final Song Was Released 2 Months Before His Death
Earlier in 2017, Chris Cornell wrote and performed his final solo release for the film The Promise. The song, which was named after the film, was written by Cornell to play during the end credits of the film. The song was met with some critical praise upon its release, and shortly thereafter, Cornell would hit the road with his band in what was to be the last few weeks of his life. In fact, just one month before he took his life, Chris performed the song during an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. He was accompanied by other members of Soundgarden for the performance.
The film, unfortunately, was a massive flop at the box office. Despite boasting an insanely talented cast, The Promise failed to make any sort of dent with mainstream audiences. However, the film has since gained notoriety due to Cornell’s song that was featured during the credits.
7. Audioslave Had Performed A Reunion Show Earlier In The Year
Fans who were fortunate enough to get to see Soundgarden on their reunion tours raved about how electrifying their shows were. This came as no surprise to longtime fans as the band was known to tear the roof off of any building that they stepped foot in. While many thought that the reunion would never take place, they rejoiced when it happened, and were curious to see if Audioslave would follow suit and reunite as well. While Audioslave wasn’t nearly as big as Soundgarden, they still amassed a huge amount of album sales and acclaim during their relatively short run. Sure enough, in January of 2017, Audioslave reunited for a performance in protest of our current president.
6. His Audioslave Bandmates Paid Him A Special Tribute
Despite playing one show together in 2017, Audislave had yet to formally reunite. Chris continued to work and tour with Soundgarden while the other members of the group pursued endeavors with the new band Prophets of Rage. Fans were still hoping that Audioslave would eventually get back together, but Cornell’s death put a stop to that. While on tour, Prophets of Rage learned of their fallen bandmate’s death, and paid a special tribute to Cornell during their next show.
The band played an instrumental version of Audioslave’s song “Like a Stone.” As his bandmates played their classic song, a spotlight shined down on the microphone that Chris would have sung on. The microphone was in the center of the stage, and the crowd sang along to the song. It was a powerful moment for those in attendance, and it showed the world how much Chris truly meant to the band.
5. Temple Of The Dog Had Done A Brief Tour Before His Death
The Seattle music scene in the early 1990s was chock full of bands that would go on to change rock music forever, and one of the most talented bands of that era was Temple of the Dog. The band was comprised of members that would go on to perform in Soundgarden and Pearl Jam, making it a supergroup of the local music scene. After each band gained worldwide fame, their lone album under the Temple of the Dog banner became immensely popular, and the song “Hunger Strike” is a bonafide classic. Though each band was functioning independently, Temple of the Dog’s album still gained a platinum certification.
Throughout the years, the members of the band would occasionally play shows together, and in 2016, Temple of the Dog embarked on a small tour. Much like the Audioslave show, fans wondered if Temple of the Dog could record new music and perform more shows. Sadly, Chris taking his life ended all speculation.
4. Chester Bennington Sang At His Funeral
Chris Cornell’s death had an immediate impact on the music industry, and the musicians that grew up inspired by Chris gave their condolences. Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington wrote a touching tribute to his fallen friend, and most people don’t realize how close these two men actually were. Chester was the godfather to Cornell’s son Christopher, and he even sang at his funeral. During the funeral service, Chester Bennington sang “Hallelujah” for his fallen friend in what had to have been a very emotional moment for all in attendance. Chester was an incredible singer, and I have no doubt that the performance was chilling.
Finding common ground and building a friendship with someone over common interests is something that we all do, and seeing Chris and Chester as good friends was touching for those who were fans of both. They both had recognizable voices, and had sold millions of records during their respective careers. The death of a friend can be difficult, but few knew how badly it hurt Chester.
3. His Death Had A Tremendous Impact On Chester Bennington
After the news of Chris Cornell’s death spread throughout the world, many artists in the music industry penned emotional poems and tributes to the fallen icon. Among the most notable pieces that were written for Cornell, a message from Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington was among the most emotional. Chester was a huge fan and friend of Cornell, and the words that he penned held a serious amount of weight to them. Chester talked about how the death of his friend Cornell had brought him to tears, and that he was unable to envision a world without Chris.
These chilling worlds seemed touching at the time, and no one could have guessed that less than two months after the death of Chris Cornell, Chester Bennington would take his life. Much like his dear friend, Bennington committed suicide by hanging. In a span of two months, the world had lost two incredible voices.
2. Connection To Ian Curtis Of Joy Division’s Death
Despite only releasing 2 studio albums, Joy Division remains one of the most influential bands of all-time, and lead singer Ian Curtis has been a huge source of inspiration for many musicians. In the past, Cornell had stated that he and the other members of Soundgarden were fans of Joy Division. Given Chris’ love for a variety of different music, this didn’t come as a shock to many.
Curtis, much like Cornell, suffered from severe depression, and back in 1980, Ian Curtis committed suicide by hanging. His death caused a shockwave to ripple through the music scene, and the members of Joy Division would go on to form the band New Order. Exactly 37 years later to the very day, Cornell took his life in the exact same manner. Two months after that, Chester Bennington also committed suicide by hanging. While this could all be coincidental, it is eerie to think that these three men will forever be linked by the way that they took their lives.
1. His Grave Is Located In Los Angeles
A few days after his tragic death, Chris Cornell’s wife had his body cremated. Nevertheless, a funeral was held for the fallen icon, and his friends, family, and peers in the music industry all attended to pay respects to the legend. Cornell’s grave can be found in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. Many legends of the entertainment industry are buried there, and Cornell’s grave will forever be near some of rock music’s most iconic names. In the cemetery, a statue of punk icon Johnny Ramone can be found, and it is there that Cornell’s ashes were placed.
With all of the other notable names that find their final resting place in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, it is a place that will no doubt attract many fans looking to see the headstone and epitaph of their favorite performers. Cornell’s recent entry in the famed cemetery will no doubt cause a new wave of fans to stroll through to pay their respects.
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