LISTEN: 10 Chris Cornell songs you need to hear
MANILA, Philippines – Rocker Chris Cornell's death on Wednesday, May 17, took the world by surprise.
At 52, Chris was known for his wide-ranging voice that could swing nearly 4 octaves, and for fronting the bands Soundgarden and Audioslave.
Soundgarden had one of the heaviest sounds in grunge with trappings of heavy metal, even though Chris cited The Beatles, to whom he listened constantly as a child, as his biggest influence.
Chris, who wrestled with heroin and other drugs as well as depression most of his life, found his outlet in music, first as a drummer and then a singer and guitarist as he joined guitarist Kim Thayil and bassist Hiro Yamamoto to form Soundgarden in 1984.
With Audioslave, Chris took a leftist political slant and the band in 2005 became the first US rockers to play in a major concert in Cuba.
Chris had sobered up by the mid-2000s and his final decade marked a resurgence of creative energy. Soundgarden, who split in acrimony in 1997, reunited and Chris released a series of solo albums as well as a theme song for the James Bond film Casino Royale. Soundgarden reunited in 2010.
On May 17, Chris committed suicide after a concert with Soundgarden in Detroit. He closed the show with Soundgarden's song "Slaves and Bulldozers" but, according to footage posted by fans, inserted lyrics from Led Zeppelin's "In My Time of Dying."
But Chris had sung the medley before and showed no obvious signs of being suicidal, with Soundgarden scheduled to take its tour Friday to Columbus, Ohio.
As the world mourns Chris, here are a few of the songs – performed with Soundgarden, Audioslave, or on his own – we'll remember him by.
"Slaves & Bulldozers" (1991) – Soundgarden
"Rusty Cage" (1991) – Soundgarden
"Black Hole Sun" (1994) – Soundgarden
"Spoonman" (1994) – Soundgarden
"Fell on Black Days" (1994) – Soundgarden
"Pretty Noose" (1996) – Soundgarden
"Burden in My Hand" (1996) – Soundgarden
"Like a Stone" (2002) – Audioslave
"The Keeper" (2011) – Chris Cornell
"You Know My Name" (2007) – Chris Cornell
– with reports from AFP/Rappler.com