Chris Cornell, Soundgarden frontman, dies at 52


Soundgarden (courtesy of the artist)

Chris Cornell, whose band Soundgarden helped to shape the sound of the '90s, has died at age 52. The sad news was confirmed by a representative who called the death "sudden and unexpected." Cornell died in Detroit, where he performed with Soundgarden at the Fox Theatre on Wednesday night.

Cornell co-founded Soundgarden with his bandmates in his home town of Seattle in 1984, when he was just 20. One of the first bands signed to Sub Pop, Soundgarden became one of the most influential bands in the gritty rock genre known as grunge. Along with peers like Nirvana and Pearl Jam, Soundgarden rode a wave of national popularity in the '90s, peaking with their albums Badmotorfinger (1991), Superunknown (1994), and Down on the Upside (1996). Their song "Seasons" appeared on the iconic Singles soundtrack in 1992.

Soundgarden broke up in 1997, then reunited in 2010 and have remained active for a well-regarded second act. Cornell also released three albums with the group Audioslave in the early 2000s.

Tributes to Cornell's life and art have already started to pour out on social media. Among the first to pay homage was Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, who called Cornell "incredibly talented, incredibly young, incredibly missed."

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