The sudden death of Chris Cornell has sent shockwaves among first-generation grunge fans and the younger ones who appreciated his later solo works or with the Audioslave super group.
Cornell, one of the most powerful, soulful, eclectic voices of his generation, wrote some eerily prophetic words about David Bowie’s death last year.
Musing for Rolling Stone on the meaning of art, Cornell seems to say that an artist’s work isn’t fully appreciated until their death:
You don’t know how important someone is to you as an artistic influence until suddenly they’re gone. I’ve certainly been having that experience.
It’s kind of equal parts sad and celebratory to think, “Awesome. What an amazing career he had and what an amazing legacy he’s left for everybody.
Formed in 1984, Cornell’s Soundgarden were among the architects of the Seattle-based grunge movement in the 1990s.
Their 1994 album “Superunknown” catapulted them from underdog, cult band to rock heroes, joining the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chains.
The album — a dark, dystopian masterpiece with atypical song structures, irregular rhythms and inaccessible lyrics — debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Record in 1995.
However, Soundgarden disbanded in 1997 due to tensions in the band, and Cornell pursued a solo career. He later joined Audioslave, before reuniting in 2012 with his former band.