ABC/Randy HolmesOne year ago today, Chris Cornell died. He passed away in the early morning hours of May 18, 2017 after playing a show with Soundgarden in Detroit the previous night. He was 52.
Cornell's death was officially ruled a suicide. His widow Vicky Cornell maintains that her husband, who struggled with addiction throughout his life, was impaired by drugs at the time of his death. However, a toxicology report concluded that "drugs did not contribute to the cause of death."
A seminal artist in the Seattle grunge scene, Cornell co-founded Soundgarden in 1984. Over the next 25 years, the band released six albums, including 1994's Superunknown, which spawned the hits "Black Hole Sun," "Spoonman" and "Fell on Black Days." At the time of Cornell's death, Soundgarden was working on a new album, the follow-up to their 2012 comeback effort, King Animal.
In 2001, Cornell teamed up with three-fourths of Rage Against the Machine to form Audioslave, which released three albums before breaking up in 2007. In January of 2017, Audioslave reunited to play together for the first time in 10 years.
Cornell also released four solo albums, the last of which was 2015's Higher Truth. Two months before his death, he released what would be his final song, the Grammy-nominated tune "The Promise."
A week after his death, Cornell was laid to rest at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in L.A. in a private ceremony attended by his Soundgarden and Audioslave band mates, and fellow rockers Dave Grohl, Metallica's James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, and Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page.
During the service, Linkin Park's Chester Bennington performed Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." On July 20, which would have been Cornell's 53rd birthday, Bennington took his own life.
Cornell's family is holding a public vigil at Hollywood Forever tonight at 7 p.m.
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