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Cornell, who died Wednesday in Detroit at age 52, was an important figure in the grunge rock movement, and he was especially known for his distinct, multi-octave “banshee wailing” voice. A medical examiner determined he died by suicide, the Associated Press reported.
Cornell helped form the rock supergroup Audioslave with members of Rage Against the Machine. The official Twitter account for Rage Against the Machine tweeted a Chris Cornell playlist, writing, “Today’s soundtrack. Let’s celebrate the genius of Chris Cornell.”
In a statement, Recording Academy President Neil Portnow called the two-time Grammy award winner “one of the influential originators of the 1990s Seattle grunge scene” whose “dynamic stage presence and impressive vocal range made him a true rock-and-roll icon.”
“Chris’ extraordinary talent will forever live on and inspire fellow musicians and fans worldwide,” Portnow said. “We have lost an innovative member of our creative community, and our sincerest condolences go out to Chris’ family, friends, collaborators, and all who have been impacted by his outstanding artistry.”
Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian posted a picture of Cornell on Instagram, writing, “Shocking news. My thoughts are with his family and friends. Going to crank Badmotorfinger.”
Gutted to hear Chris Cornell has passed away. Audioslave are one of my all time favourite bands. I saw him live 6 times & was always amazing
— James Phelps (@James_Phelps) May 18, 2017