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Chris Cornell: the startling suicide of an eclectic talent

The Soundgarden frontman, who committed suicide Wednesday, May 17, at age 52, seemed to have everything going for him: that plutonic four-octave voice, the brooding good looks and the ability to shift gears from blistering metal to tender acoustic moments. After storming the charts with hit singles like “Black Hole Sun,” “Fell on Black Days” and “Spoonman,” the band unraveled in 1997 — just three years after releasing the platinum-selling “Superunknown.” While never exactly defining whether Soundgarden had broken up or gone on hiatus, Cornell moved on in dramatic fashion. In 2012, the group released “King Animal,” its first album in 16 years, while Cornell continued searching for his muse. In 2015, Cornell released what would be his final solo album, “Higher Truth,” which many critics labeled his most personal work to date. The 1991 album was originally written as a tribute to Mother Love Bone singer Andy Wood, one of the earliest casualties of the ill-fated Seattle music scene that also claimed the lives of Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, Alice in Chains’ Layne Staley and Hole’s Kristen Pfaff. In a 1994 Rolling Stone article, he described himself as a “daily drug user at 13,” who had quit by the time he turned 14. Cornell appeared to be active on social media in the hours before his death, with a post on his Twitter account Wednesday that announced the group’s arrival at Detroit’s Fox Theatre, and a clip of the group’s 2012 release “By Crooked Steps” was posted to his official Facebook page just hours before his death. According to Detroit police, Cornell’s wife had called a family friend and asked him to check on Cornell; the friend forced open a hotel room door and found Cornell on the bathroom floor. The Detroit Free Press reportedthat Detroit police social media manager Dontae Freeman said Mr. Cornell was found with “a band around his neck.”

Article by By Aidin Vaziri (c) Entertainment - Read full story here.