Chris Cornell was 52. He was best known as the lead vocalist, primary songwriter and rhythm guitarist for Soundgarden and as lead vocalist and songwriter for Audioslave.
This one hits me square in my youth. I had a Badmotorfinger poster hanging in my bedroom as a teen. I just searched this blog for the term 'cornell' and see I've been writing about him for 15 years.
As I glance at those old entries, it's clear I always deemed him the best vocalist of the grungers. I may have been a bigger fan of Pearl Jam, but Nirvana and Soundgarden were right there on Mount Rushmore. Here's a few copy and pastes from yesteryear.
- "Of all the great grunge rockers I've enjoyed through the years, nobody can touch the voice of Chris Cornell."
- "Some great rock voices emerged from Seattle in the late 80s and early 90s. Kurt Cobain had that wicked scream and Ed Vedder had that definitive angsty croon but Chris Cornell had that impossible range. He was the best of the bunch and "Jesus Christ Pose" is that song I first skip to when I'm craving some Soundgarden."
- "When I first read that the members of Rage Against the Machine were forming a group with Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, it was music to my ears. I'm a huge fan of both Rage Against the Machine and Soundgarden, and Audioslave didn't disappoint."
From Soundgarden to Hunger Strike to Audioslave and his haunting and exceptional solo covers of "Nothing Compares 2 U", "Billie Jean" and more, there was no other voice like his, and I'm going to miss hearing new music from the man.
Jonathan Demme was 73. He was the Academy Award winning director who brought us Married to the Mob, The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia and Rachel Getting Married.
Don Rickles was 90. He was the honorary Rat Pack member and celebrity roast guest whose comedy career spanned six decades.
If you can I highly suggest you track down Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project, a documentary I caught back in '09. I love insult comics, and Rickles was the best.
Chuck Berry was 90. He was the the singer, songwriter and guitar great who practically defined rock music with his impeccably twangy hits “Maybellene,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” “Memphis,” “My Ding-a-Ling” and “Sweet Little Sixteen.”
Bill Paxton was 61. He was the actor who appeared in such films as The Terminator, Weird Science, Aliens, Predator 2, True Lies, Apollo 13, Twister, and Titanic.
George "The Animal" Steele was 79. He was a popular wrestler in the WWF who would act like a wild man in the ring, tearing up the turnbuckle with his teeth and using the stuffing as a weapon as well as sticking out his green tongue.
Stuart McLean was 68. He was the host of CBC Radio's The Vinyl Café and an award-winning humorist. How many times did I stumble upon one of Stuart's Dave and Morley stories? Often enough to develop a pretty good Stuart McLean impression, a cadence I'd often mimic when sharing my own stories.
John Hurt was 77. His acting career spanned over six decades and included such movies as Midnight Express, The Elephant Man, The Naked Civil Servant, Alien, and three Harry Potter films.
Mary Tyler Moore was 80. She was the actress best known for her television roles in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show. She was also nominated for a best actress Oscar in 1980 for the film Ordinary People.
Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka was 73. He was a star in the World Wrestling Federation where he was best known for his signature move the Superfly Splash.
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