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Christopher John Boyle Cornell

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Christopher John Boyle Cornell

Place of birth: Seattle, Washington

Chris Cornell was a rock icon who thrived on contradictions. An innovator who resisted genre labels, he was nonetheless a chief architect of the 90s grunge movement. Frequently ranked as one of the best voices in music history, he successfully maintained his own unique identity over decades as a multi-Grammy award-winning musician and universally acclaimed singer, songwriter and lyricist.

Chris was born Christopher John Boyle on July 20 1964 in Seattle, Washington. He was the second youngest of six children, and was the son of Karen Cornell, an accountant, and Edward Boyle, a pharmacist. He was of mostly Irish, English, Scottish, and Norwegian ancestry, with many of his mother’s ancestors coming from Canada. His parents divorced when Chris was in his early teens, and Chris and his siblings changed their surnames from Boyle to his mother’s maiden name. Chris said his mother saved his life when she bought him a snare drum. A week later he bought himself an entire drum kit and thus began his forage into rock n roll.

As a teenager, he honed his skills as a songwriter and musician by playing in several bands. He formed Soundgarden with Hiro Yamamoto, Kim Thayil and Matt Cameron in the mid-eighties. Yamamoto left the band was replaced by Ben Shepherd. Soundgarden were the first of the Seattle grunge bands to get signed by a major label during the late 80s and would eventually go on to become on of the most successful bands of the 1990s. Soundgarden were a law to themselves, edgy, dark and deeply individual. Their savage soundscapes, coupled with Chris’ incisive lyrics and predatory roar, seduced audiences hungry for musical depth and complexity, while leading trends in street fashion and iconic design. Their sound continued to change and evolve over the course of five pioneering albums. Chris also enjoyed success with several side projects, among them Temple Of The Dog and Audioslave.

Chris subsequently redefined his sound and vision to encompass new music, new collaborations and new activities. Having contributed solo songs to movie soundtracks from “Great Expectations” to “Mission Impossible II”, he became the first American male singer to write the theme song for the James Bond franchise in its most successful film to date, “Casino Royale.”

He was a two-time Grammy winner, with a total of 14 nominations. Sold over 22.5 million records worldwide with his band Soundgarden; over 1 million copies of the album ‘Temple of the Dog’ in the United States; over 300,000 copies of his solo debut, Euphoria Morning, as well as earned a Grammy nomination. In 2002, his new band Audioslave sold 3 million copies of their self titled debut album in the U.S., and their three albums have sold a total of 8 million records worldwide. As of 2017, his entire catalog has sold over 30 million records worldwide.

His last album ‘Higher Truth’ displays Chris’ constant evolution as a master songwriter, lyricist and musical craftsman telling human stories which transcend musical genres. Inspired by the stark arrangements of musicians like Nick Drake, Daniel Johnston and White Album-era Beatles, Cornell creates a musical universe unlike anything he has done before. His Higher Truth Tour was successful, selling out many shows in minutes.

Chris suffered from depression for most of his life. He committed suicide on May 18, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan.

He was a beloved father, brother, son and friend. He is loved and immensely missed.

*Photo Disclaimer: Photos posted here were screen shot by me from videos of Chris over the years. Therefore they are not copyrighted to anyone.

*Suicide Hotline: Chris supported the National Suicide Prevention life line. If you or someone you know needs help, please call 1-800-273-8255. The lines are open 24/7.

Funeral Notice Detail

Chris died on May 18, 2017.

A Memorial Service will be held at

Chris ashes were buried at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. , CA 90038

10 Responses

  • Wave Goodbye On

    10-months today, Chris. I've been watching old concert footage and avoiding reality. Part of me feels like you've journeyed off to some remote part of the world and I still expect you to return. This can't be real life. You were right about there not being such a thing as a healing process. The days, weeks, months pass but there is no coming to terms with your passing. Your absence is overwhelming. Thinking of you and missing you today and always.

  • Jenna Rose On

    Today was a hard day. I needed strength from somewhere. The song I Am The Highway popped up on my mp3 player. I'll take that as a sign from you Chris. These past two days have showed me some darkness from the human race but your music is always a light to run towards for safety. I love you and wish you were still here Chris.

  • memo alltid On

    Chris - jag vill säga så mycket till dig, förklara hur mycket din musik har betytt för mig och varför jag tycker att jag har känt och fortfarande känner en sådan koppling till dig. Det går inte att förklara, men jag vill ändå försöka att uttrycka min tacksamhet för allt du har förmedlat och gett mig genom åren. Du kommer fortsatt att betyda mycket för mig och jag kommer utan tvekan att fortsätta att lyssna på din röst genom alla sånger du skapade. Du var och kommer alltid att vara unik. Tack för allt.

  • Elfe D On

    Chris. Your music has been the soundtrack to my life since I was 14 years old. Last year I turned 40. Without even knowing it, you have been with me through good times, bad times, and some very sad times. You've lifted me up, given me hope, and inspired me when I thought nothing could. Your presence in the world and the beauty you shared has been a gift to so many, and to say thank you doesn't feel like nearly enough.. but I'm saying it anyway. Every day I celebrate your life, your gifts and your time in the universe. I miss you being here with us, we all do. We all love you Chris, I hope you can feel it wherever you are. Thank you for the memories, you are still and will always be my soundtrack.

  • Peggy Meadows On

    The tide recedes, but leaves behind bright seashells in the sand. The sun goes down, but gentle warmth still lingers on the land. The music stops, and yet it lingers on in sweet refrain. For every joy that passes something beautiful remains.


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