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Chris Cornell

Originally finding success as the frontman of Seattle's Soundgarden, rock vocalist Chris Cornell forged a successful career after the band's 1997 demise, both with the supergroup Audioslave and as a diverse solo artist. Born in Seattle on July 20, 1964, his music career didn't take shape until he was a teenager, when he began playing drums in a local cover band. Although he spent most of his teenage years as a loner, rock music helped Cornell overcome his uneasiness around others. After dropping out of high school and working as a cook, Cornell laid the foundation for what would become the influential grunge band Soundgarden by the mid-'80s. Cornell assumed vocal duties for the group, with friend Hiro Yamamoto on bass, Kim Thayil on guitar, and eventually Matt Cameron on drums.

Along with the Melvins, Soundgarden was one of the first rock bands to slow down punk's youthful energy to a Black Sabbath-like crawl. Following the release of several recordings on various independent labels, Soundgarden also became one of the first bands of the Seattle underground to sign with a major label, A&M, which issued Louder Than Love in 1989. After the album's release, however, Yamamoto left and was first replaced by ex-Nirvana member Jason Everman, who was later ousted by Ben Shepherd. With Soundgarden's quintessential lineup in place, the group became one of rock's most popular bands on the strength of such albums as 1991's Badmotorfinger, 1994's Superunknown, and 1996's Down on the Upside. With each album, Cornell's singing grew stronger as he demonstrated a growing mastery of his multi-octave range.

From the start, however, Cornell's talents weren't limited to his work with Soundgarden. He organized a tribute for late Mother Love Bone singer Andrew Wood in the form of 1990's Temple of the Dog project, which featured a stripped-down sound and yielded the moderate hit "Hunger Strike." Cornell's first officially released solo composition, the acoustic "Seasons," was the highlight of the 1992 motion picture soundtrack Singles. His bluesy voice also helmed a superb cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)" on the 1993 Stone Free: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix compilation (under the pseudonym M.A.C.C.). Meanwhile, he found time to pen songs for other acts (including Flotsam & Jetsam and Alice Cooper) while also producing the Screaming Trees' 1991 release, Uncle Anesthesia. After Soundgarden's demise in April 1997, Cornell slowly but surely began to assemble a solo album with his friends from the band Eleven.

Issued in 1999, Euphoria Morning was a departure from his former band's sound, emphasizing Cornell's vocals and lyrics rather than meaty guitar riffs. Shortly after its release, Cornell launched his first solo tour, mixing songs from all eras of his career. After the tour's conclusion in early 2000, a tepid remix of the Euphoria Morning track "Mission" (retitled "Mission 2000") was included on the Mission Impossible 2 soundtrack. It appeared as though Cornell would take a break from music for a while, as his wife gave birth to the couple's first child in June of the same year, but by late 2000, Cornell found himself involved in a project that promised to be a classic hard rock collaboration.

Rage Against the Machine had decided not to break up after longtime vocalist Zack de la Rocha left the band, opting instead to find another singer and carry on under a different name. Cornell accepted an invitation to jam and pen a few songs (which former Rage guitarist Tom Morello described as "really groundbreaking") and, shortly thereafter, officially joined forces with the former Rage members under the moniker Audioslave. Produced by Rick Rubin, the band's self-titled debut arrived in November 2002 and went multi-platinum. The follow-up effort, 2005's Out of Exile, debuted at number one on the Billboard charts and was followed by the platinum-selling Revelations in 2006. Despite such success, Cornell left the band that same year, citing the usual "irreconcilable differences" for his departure.

Cornell returned to his solo career with 2007's Carry On. Although the album was largely biographical, it also featured a cover of Michael Jackson's "Billy Jean" (a rendition made famous one year later by American Idol contender David Cook) and a song from the James Bond movie Casino Royale. Two new singles, "Ground Zero" and "Watch Out," were offered as digital downloads one year later, featuring a newfound emphasis on electronics and studio trickery. The tracks had been recorded with producer Timbaland, with whom Cornell partnered for the creation of his third solo album. Stocked with drum machines and R&B melodies, Scream arrived in March 2009, heralded by Timbaland as "the best work I've done in my career" but received poorly by several critics. The following year, Soundgarden joined the many popular '90s alternative bands who reunited in the 2000s and 2010s, headlining that year's Lollapalooza festival and releasing the retrospectives Telephantasm and Live on I-5, which documented the group's 1996 tour, as well as recording new songs. The following spring, however, Cornell returned to his solo career with the solo acoustic Songbook tour, from which came two EPs and the Songbook album, all of which were released in 2011. That September, Cornell contributed a song to the Machine Gun Preacher soundtrack. Soundgarden's first album since Down on the Upside was expected early in 2012. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi
full bio

Comments

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Great singer wish Soun Garden back together
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You wore me out like an old winter coat. Excellent imagery and awesome vocals!!!
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Chris Cornell f**king rocks!!!!
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bobonnit sucks dudes
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Thank you! Chris. Very inspiring! Keep up the strength to persevere in this F***ed up world of humans
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What a beautiful voice!
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Listen to this guy.. He knows what he's talking about..
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Damn, He Good!
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I like colorful clothing in sun cause it doesn't remind me of anything!!!
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dang bobonit..... is there any music you DO like??? why do you even listen then??? so much negativity.. . .
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his cover of Billie Jean is better than the original. (IMO of course)
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jphillips757 9
My second favorite vocalist after Adam Gontier. Love his voice!
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song6garden
Chris is voted best vocals in rock by fans in Guitar Player magazine. I've put Plant b4 him but no more! On the flip side- as much as I love Chris- Freddy Mercury is hands down THE BEST EVER!!
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I find him annoying and hurts my ears. Didn't like Soundgarden and don't care for him as a solo act.
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Chris us amazing and beautiful to look at!
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Not only is he one of the most amazing vocalists of all time, he is also an extremely accomplished and vivid lyricist. The lyrics he uses has the ability to speak to people of all ages and walks of life. His music WILL live on forever, just like Led Zeppelin...
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Hey Chris You speak to me man. You r just a year older than I. Caught you at small venue KC back in 8 or 9 great show energy!!! Catching high fives from u u totally blew off all the sexy b**ches in the front row. you could tell i was really feeling, had lived alot of it, was f**king getting off on the show. Like I said man your music speaks to my soul, Thank you always for this. Hope u have a great new year
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This guy is a legend to rock
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Great voice. Love the tune
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By far the sexiest male vocalist. Chris is the voice of the modern generation just as Robert Plant was the voice of the 70s. Love them both. They touch my soul every time I hear their voices
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Thank you Chris you class
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Chris Cornell has never had one song I haven't loved. Such a unique voice.
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Love the message here. It shows that love is a choice not a game.
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briancasper5 6 100% agree, bravo sir!
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Vedder, Staley, Cobain, and Cornell in that order
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I fell in love with Chris Connell after I heard "I Am the Highway". Lol
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rogerblocke
I don't care what anyone says, it's Chris Cornell's voice that I think of when someone mentions the 90s.
The voice of a generation.. .
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Incredible voice. Flawless.
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Chris, you move me
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FOLLOW FOR FOLLOW (Please read my bio)
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Meh..never got the whole Soundgarden thing. His solo stuff is kind of boring too....
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Meh..never got the whole soundgarded thing. His solo stuff is kind of boring too....
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My soul and mind are free now
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i want to be yr wife
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Straight to your soul. Rock with beautiful melodies and overwhelming emotion
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This is what i call music for the soul
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smyers820gm
I'm not sure if I like him better in Audioslave or Soundgarden. Oh well, his voice is amazing in both bands. :)
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My favorite musician, his music soothes my soul.
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Xfactor extraordinai r e
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I love the live version of Black Hole Sun.
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an amazing talent.
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monica25x2
I'm in love with his pipes
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Best Vocalist Ever.
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Chris Cornell has the best pipes in the business today. AMAZING vocalist. much respect...
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Awesome remake of a Zep!! Love it!!
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Now im free
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angelprinces s _ o 1
Best song by eddie
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Wow, who knew a zep rival!!!
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THANK YOU…
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Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes when done press f6 and your lover's name will come on the big letters. This is so scary because it actually works
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