Chris Cornell, the Soundgarden frontman who became one of the most thrilling hard rock vocalists of the '90s, died Wednesday night. He was 52.
Cornell was found dead in a Detroit hotel room just hours after a Soundgarden performance. The band had just begun a summer tour of the U.S. at the end of April.
Soundgarden's third-to-last performance was at the Northern Invasion Festival at Somerset Amphitheater in Wisconsin last Saturday. You can watch their opening song, “Spoonman,” here.
One of the flagship Seattle "grunge-era" bands to break out in the early '90s, Soundgarden refined the artier side of Led Zeppelin, stripping away much of its sexual posturing. Cornell's voice, which scaled upward nearly four octaves without straining or preening, was an essential component of that sound.