Chris Cornell, Five Years Gone: Remembering the Late, Great Soundgarden/Audioslave Icon

Adrian GarroCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

Today, May 18, 2022, marks the five-year anniversary of the untimely 2017 passing of Chris Cornell, powerhouse vocalist/songwriter known for his classic catalog of work with Soundgarden, Audioslave and Temple of the Dog, as well as a series of resonant solo releases.

His death, which came as Soundgarden was out on tour, hit the rock and roll scene exceptionally hard. He was a presence, a force, a musical entity beloved the world over, one commanding the utmost respect and reverence. His voice, unique in its vibrancy and tone, set him apart from his (many) peers in the bourgeoning late 1980s/early ’90s “grunge” scene and made him an icon.

At the time of Cornell’s death, he was just 52.

Here’s fan video from Cornell’s final performance with Soundgarden, from Detroit’s Fox Theatre on May 17 (the night before he passed away):

And a classic Soundgarden gig from 1991:

With Audioslave, a supergroup that joined him with Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, Brad Wilk and Tim Commerford, the ensemble struck a chord with one of the most dynamic sounds of the early 2000s, a perfect blending of sounds from two of the biggest rock bands of the ’90s:

Vicky Cornell, the singer’s widow, shared a lengthy message on social media directed to his fans, the ones who keep his memory alive with their adoring tributes and posts and sharing of his musical message to the masses. He may be gone, but his spirit lives on.

5 years ago today, would be the worst day of our lives. It would be the last time Chris would hug & kiss us, the last time he’d walk out our front door. The last time he’d wave goodbye to us from the car. The last time we’d ever see him.

5 years ago tonight, Chris would take the stage for the last time. It was his final show, his final performance- but nobody knew it at the time. I’ve seen the quote “you never know when the last time will be the last time” and that rings way too true. If you told me before he went on the stage that fateful night, the night would end this way-I would never have believed you. Nobody who knew Chris would. In our lifetime everything has a last time- but in the moment, you never know it will be the last time- till you are looking back. Chris lived in the moment and took nothing for granted. We forget how fragile life is, how fluid relationships are and how things can change in a minute. Never miss an opportunity to tell somebody you love them- Chris told us every single day.

To all of his fans – please know he loved you as much as you love him. He was so grateful to be able to make music, perform all over the world, have his music & lyrics touch your heart & impact your lives. He loved receiving love from all of you.

There are not enough words to express our gratitude & appreciation -Chris always said he had the best fans & these past 5 years it’s become more evident than ever. Thank you for loving him so much that through that love for Chris you have loved us too. You have helped us through the hardest of days & kept us going when we thought we couldn’t. We are grateful for each & every one of you- it is true when he said “it is the fans who make you who you are” and you are the support system he built who have been such a huge part of our healing. Thank you for stepping up in the darkest of times & thank you for helping keep Chris’s memory and spirit alive- so keep playing it loud!

And tonight in his honor, blast your favorite Cornell song and throw your love up in the air- #cornellforever


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A post shared by Vicky Cornell (@vickycornell)

May Chris Cornell rest in peace, and may his music continue to live on.


  • winn renken says:

    what a voice,I was lucky to see his last concert his music will live with me forever.

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