Chris Cornell was an American musician, singer and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist of Soundgarden. Let’s see some amazing facts and trivia about him!
1.His full name was Christopher John Boyle.
2. He was born on July 20, 1964.
3. Chris Cornell was born and raised in Seattle, Washington, and attended Christ the King Catholic elementary school,[and Shorewood High School.
4. His parents are Ed Boyle (a pharmacist from an Irish Catholic background) and Karen Cornell (an accountant).
5. He has five siblings: older brothers Peter and Patrick, and younger sisters Katy, Suzy, and Maggie. Peter, Katy and Suzy all performed in the band Inflatable Soule in the 1990s. Peter was the frontman for the New York-based rock band Black Market Radio and released a new solo album, Champion, in 2014. Katy performs as lead vocalist for the Seattle band Into the Cold.
6. Chris Cornell has released five solo albums. Soundgarden produced six albums, five EPs and two greatest hits compilations.
7. He released three albums with Audioslave and one album with Temple of the Dog. Despite this large discography he has only released one retrospective compilation which was given a limited release. Cornell has also produced an album for Screaming Trees and had his music featured on one mixtape.
8. Chris Cornell 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. Cornell was a loner; however, he was able to deal with his anxiety around other people through rock music.
9. During his teenage years, Chris spiralled in to severe depression, dropped out of school and almost never left the house during his state of depression.
10. Before becoming a successful musician, he worked at a seafood wholesaler and was a sous-chef at a restaurant named Ray’s Boathouse.
11. In the early 1980s, Cornell was a member of a cover band called The Shemps that performed around Seattle. The Shemps also featured bassist Hiro Yamamoto.
12. Cornell and Yamamoto stayed in contact, and after The Shemps broke up, Cornell and Yamamoto started jamming together, eventually bringing in Thayil to join them.
13. Cornell 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. Cornell was a loner; however, he was able to deal with his anxiety around other people through rock music
14. Soundgarden was formed in 1984 by Cornell, Thayil and Yamamoto with Cornell originally on drums and vocals. In 1985, the band enlisted Scott Sundquist as the drummer to allow Cornell to concentrate on vocals.
15. The band’s first recordings were three songs that appeared on a compilation for C/Z Records called Deep Six. In 1986, Sundquist, who by that point had a wife and a child, decided to leave the band and spend time with his family. He was replaced by Matt Cameron, the drummer for Skin Yard, who became Soundgarden’s permanent drummer.
16. In 1998, Cornell began working on material for a solo album on which he collaborated with Alain Johannes and Natasha Shneider of the band Eleven.
17. The album, titled Euphoria Morning, was released on September 21, 1999. In his first ever solo tour Cornell spent seven months on the road from September 13, 1999 to March 7, 2000 playing 61 shows in support of Euphoria Morning. Cornell performed two of those coinciding with the debut of the album on September 21 and 22, 1999 at the Henry Fonda Theater in Hollywood California.
18. Attendance for the shows were high, considering he performed the initial shows before fans were even familiar with the music. The touring band was made up of some of the contributing musicians Alain Johannes, Natasha Shneider, Rick Markmann, and Greg Upchurch. The album proved commercially unsuccessful although the album’s single “Can’t Change Me” was nominated for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance at the 2000 Grammy Awards.
19. Euphoria Morning includes “Wave Goodbye”, Cornell’s tribute to his late friend Jeff Buckley.
20. It has been noted that Euphoria Morning is influenced by Buckley’s songwriting and distinctive vocal style. He also contributed the song “Sunshower” (a bonus track on the Japanese release of Euphoria Morning) to the soundtrack of the 1998 film, Great Expectations, and a reworked version of the track “Mission”, retitled “Mission 2000”, was used on the soundtrack to the 2000 film, Mission: Impossible 2.
21. An unreleased song called “Heart of Honey” was also recorded in collaboration with Johannes and Shneider during this period. According to Alain Johannes, “Heart of Honey” was recorded for the film Titan A.E. but not used.
22. Chris Cornell’s songwriting often features non-standard chord progressions and melodies that do not conform with one diatonic scale. A prominent example is “Black Hole Sun”, which not only involves many kinds of open chords and several key changes in short sequences, but also unique melody phrases with large-interval jumps.
23.He has also experimented with various different vocal styles, ranging from light falsetto to brutal screams and chants. In addition to singing rock and metal mainly with Soundgarden and Audioslave, Cornell sings the blues, neo soul and stripped-down acoustic numbers
24. Cornell’s songwriting often features non-standard chord progressions and melodies that do not conform with one diatonic scale. A prominent example is “Black Hole Sun”, which not only involves many kinds of open chords and several key changes in short sequences, but also unique melody phrases with large-interval jumps.
25. Cornell was previously married to Susan Silver, the manager of Alice in Chains and Soundgarden. They have a daughter, Lillian Jean, born in June 2000. He and Silver divorced in 2004. In December 2008, Cornell reported via his official website that he had finally won back his collection of 15 guitars after a four-year court battle with Silver.
26. He married to Vicky Karayiannis, a Paris-based American publicist of Greek heritage. They have a daughter, Toni, born in September 2004, and a son, Christopher Nicholas, born in December 2005.
27. Chris Cornell converted to the Greek Orthodox Church through her influence.
28. When asked how Cornell beat all his addictions he stated, “It was a long period of coming to the realization that this way (sober) is better. Going through rehab, honestly, did help…it got me away from just the daily drudgery of depression and either trying to not drink or do drugs or doing them and you know, they give you such a simple message that any idiot can get and it’s just over and over, but the bottom line is really, and this is the part that is scary for everyone, the individual kinda has to want it…not kinda, you have to want it and to not do that crap anymore or you will never stop and it will just kill you.”
29. In a 2011 interview, Cornell said the major change with the reformed Soundgarden is a lack of alcohol: “The biggest difference I noticed… and we haven’t even really talked about it: There are no bottles of Jack Daniels around or beers. And we never talked about… it’s just not there.”
30. Cornell died on May 18, 2017 at the age of 52, just hours after performing a show in Detroit. The cause of death was not immediately known.