On May 18th, 2017, the renowned vocalist for Soundgarden, Audioslave, and Temple of the Dog, Chris Cornell passed away.
The news of his passing hit social media that morning, and came as a shock to rock fans everywhere. As if his death wasn’t enough for fans, the blow was even harder when it was released that the cause of his death was suicide.
It was said that around 12:15 am on May 18th, Cornell was found by his bodyguard with an exercise band around his neck. This was only an hour or so after his last ever performance with Soundgarden at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, MI.
Since the news about Cornell’s death was released, new information has been released by his wife Vicky Cornell about possible reasoning for his suicidal thoughts. It has been said that after the show, Vicky had spoken to Chris where he had told her that he “may have taken an extra Ativan or two.” Ativan was a prescription drug Cornell was taking to help treat anxiety, as well as other issues. One of the side effects of the drug is suicidal ideation. Cornell had been known for having suicidal thoughts and depression in the late 1990’s, but after going through rehab for substance abuse, had helped him escape that lifestyle.
Cornell’s wife stated, “When we spoke after the show, I noticed he was slurring his words; he was different. When he told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two, I contacted security and asked that they checked on him.”
The death of Chris Cornell has left rock fans broken hearted. The singer was known for his time in 90s band Soundgarden, in which he recorded six studio albums. He was also known for his time in Audioslave, known for their song, “Like A Stone” and others, as well as his involvement with Temple of the Dog, known for Cornell’s duet with Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, “Hunger Strike.” Along with his involvement in other groups, Cornell also had a wide array of solo releases including, Euphoria Morning (1999), Carry On (2007), Scream (2009), Higher Truth (2015), and more.
Cornell was currently on tour with Soundgarden, who had recently played Carolina Rebellion, and had shows scheduled all through the month of May.
Numerous celebrities and fellow musicians have paid tribute to Cornell, writing heartbreaking letters to the frontman, and even playing his songs and dedicating performances to him onstage. One of the most gut-wrenching tributes to Cornell was the letter in which Cornell’s wife wrote, that can be read below:
“To My Sweet Christopher,
You were the best father, husband and son-in-law. Your patience, empathy and love always showed through.
You had always said I saved you, that you wouldn’t be alive if it were not for me. My heart gleamed to see you happy, living and motivated. Excited for life. Doing everything you could to give back. We had the time of our lives in the last decade and I’m sorry, my sweet love, that I did not see what happened to you that night. I’m sorry you were alone, and I know that was not you, my sweet Christopher. Your children know that too, so you can rest in peace.
I’m broken, but I will stand up for you and I will take care of our beautiful babies. I will think of you every minute of every day and I will fight for you. You were right when you said we are soulmates. It has been said that paths that have crossed will cross again, and I know that you will come find me, and I will be here waiting.
I love you more than anyone has ever loved anyone in the history of loving and more than anyone ever will.
Always and forever,
Cornell was cremated on May 23rd, and was laid to rest on May 26th at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, California next to Johnny Ramone.
You will never be forgotten, Chris. Your music, and your legacy will live on forever.
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