Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell
Cornell in 2011
Christopher John Boyle

(1964-07-20)July 20, 1964
DiedMay 18, 2017(2017-05-18) (aged 52)
Cause of deathSuicide by hanging
Resting placeHollywood Forever Cemetery
  • Musician
  • singer
  • songwriter
Years active1984–2017
Susan Silver
(m. 1990; div. 2004)

Vicky Karayiannis
(m. 2004)
Musical career
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Associated acts

Christopher John Cornell ( Boyle; July 20, 1964 – May 18, 2017) was an American musician, singer and songwriter. He was best known as the lead vocalist for the rock bands Soundgarden and Audioslave. Cornell was also known for his numerous solo works and soundtrack contributions since 1991, and as the founder and frontman for Temple of the Dog, the one-off tribute band dedicated to his late friend Andrew Wood.

Cornell is considered one of the chief architects of the 1990s grunge movement, and is well known for his extensive catalog as a songwriter, his nearly four-octave vocal range,[2] and his powerful vocal belting technique. He released four solo studio albums, Euphoria Morning (1999), Carry On (2007), Scream (2009), Higher Truth (2015) and the live album Songbook (2011). Cornell received a Golden Globe Award nomination for his song "The Keeper", which appeared in the 2011 film Machine Gun Preacher, and co-wrote and performed the theme song to the James Bond film Casino Royale (2006), "You Know My Name". His last solo release before his death was the charity single "The Promise", written for the ending credits for the 2016 film of the same name.

Across his entire catalog, Cornell has sold 14.8 million albums, 8.8 million digital songs, and 300 million on-demand audio streams in the U.S. alone,[3][4] as well as over 30 million records worldwide.[5][6][7] He was nominated for 16 Grammy Awards and won three.[8][9] He was voted "Rock's Greatest Singer" by readers of Guitar World,[10] ranked 4th in the list of "Heavy Metal's All-Time Top 100 Vocalists" by Hit Parader,[11] 9th in the list of "Best Lead Singers of All Time" by Rolling Stone,[12] and 12th in MTV's "22 Greatest Voices in Music".[13]

Cornell struggled with depression for most of his life. He was found dead in his Detroit hotel room early on the morning of May 18, 2017, after performing at a Soundgarden concert an hour earlier at the Fox Theatre. His death was ruled a suicide by hanging.[3]

Early life

Cornell was born Christopher John Boyle on July 20, 1964,[14][15] in Seattle, Washington, where he was raised. His parents are Edward F. Boyle,[16] a pharmacist of Irish-Catholic background,[17][18] and Karen Cornell,[16][18] an accountant and psychic of Jewish background.[19][17][20][21] After his parents' divorce when he was a teenager, Chris and his siblings adopted their mother's maiden name, Cornell, as their surname.[20][14] Cornell was one of six children; he had two older brothers and three younger sisters.[14] He attended Christ the King Catholic elementary school,[22] where he performed for the first time in front of a crowd, singing the 1960s anti-war song "One Tin Soldier".[22] He later attended Shorewood High School.[23][24] When he was in seventh grade, his mother pulled him and his sister out of Catholic school; Cornell claimed because they were about to be expelled for being too inquisitive.[25] Cornell recalled the episode in a 1994 interview: "With a religion like that, it's not designed for anyone to question. Being young people who have a natural curiosity and half a brain, you're going to start finding inconsistencies, which there are tons of in organized religion. We both sort of made it clear in classroom situations that we didn't get it. 'Explain this to me.' And they couldn't, so we started creating a lot of problems."[25]

Cornell traced his musical influences back to Little Richard via The Beatles.[26] He spent a two-year period between the ages of nine and eleven solidly listening to The Beatles after finding a large collection of Beatles records abandoned in the basement of a neighbor's house.[27] He described himself at this age as a loner; he was able to deal with his anxiety around other people through rock music.[28] During his teenage years, he spiraled into severe depression, dropped out of school, and almost never left the house.[29] At the age of 12, he had access to alcohol, marijuana, LSD, psilocybin mushrooms and prescription drugs; he used them daily by 13, stopped for a year, but relapsed at age 15 for another year until he turned to music.[30][31] At 14, he had a bad PCP experience and later suffered from panic disorder and agoraphobia.[32]

Cornell took piano and guitar lessons as a child.[30] He once explained that his mother saved his life when she bought him a snare drum, the instrument he adopted in beginning his path to become a rock musician.[20] Before becoming a successful musician, he worked as a busboy,[33] as a dishwasher,[33] as a fish monger at a seafood wholesaler[29] and was a sous-chef at Ray's Boathouse in Seattle.[34]

In the early 1980s, Cornell was a member of a cover band called The Shemps, which featured bassist Hiro Yamamoto and performed around Seattle.[35] After Yamamoto left The Shemps, the band recruited guitarist Kim Thayil.[35] Cornell and Yamamoto stayed in contact, and after The Shemps broke up, the pair started jamming together, eventually bringing Thayil in to join them.[35]

Other Languages
العربية: كريس كورنيل
asturianu: Chris Cornell
تۆرکجه: کریس کرنل
български: Крис Корнел
català: Chris Cornell
čeština: Chris Cornell
Deutsch: Chris Cornell
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Chris Cornell
español: Chris Cornell
euskara: Chris Cornell
فارسی: کریس کرنل
français: Chris Cornell
한국어: 크리스 코넬
հայերեն: Քրիս Քորնել
hrvatski: Chris Cornell
Bahasa Indonesia: Chris Cornell
íslenska: Chris Cornell
italiano: Chris Cornell
ქართული: კრის კორნელი
македонски: Крис Корнел
Bahasa Melayu: Chris Cornell
Nederlands: Chris Cornell
português: Chris Cornell
русский: Корнелл, Крис
Simple English: Chris Cornell
slovenčina: Chris Cornell
српски / srpski: Крис Корнел
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Chris Cornell
svenska: Chris Cornell
Türkçe: Chris Cornell
українська: Кріс Корнелл
Tiếng Việt: Chris Cornell