The news of Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell’s death, which his publicist called “sudden and unexpected,” reverberated throughout the music world Thursday morning.
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.
Tributes poured in from musicians of various genres, and included longtime legends and newer artists:
RIP Chris Cornell
Incredibly Missed. pic.twitter.com/pKNI4tKiXz
— Jimmy Page (@JimmyPage) May 18, 2017
SO SO stunned to hear about Chris Cornell! Such a terrible and sad loss! Thinking of his family tonight! RIP
— Dave Navarro (@DaveNavarro) May 18, 2017
— Nile Rodgers (@nilerodgers) May 18, 2017
Very sad news about Chris Cornell today. A sad loss of a great talent to the world, his friends and family. Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/BlgxE6cJLH
— Joe Perry (@JoePerry) May 18, 2017
Sad 2 hear of Chris Cornell passing..great singer and artist… another blow…RIP
— Billy Idol (@BillyIdol) May 18, 2017
— Elton John (@eltonofficial) May 18, 2017
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.”
“This one is shocking. Chris Cornell was one of the benchmark vocalists of our generation,” former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy tweeted. “Devastating loss.”
— Mike Portnoy (@MikePortnoy) May 18, 2017
One of the greatest voices of all time. We're grateful to have toured with him on Project Revolution in '08. Rest in Legendary power pic.twitter.com/82d6o6MMhu
— Atreyu (@atreyuofficial) May 18, 2017
RIP Chris Cornell. Chris was the most influential singer to me as a writer. I just saw him perform days ago. Completely devastated
— Mark Tremonti (@MarkTremonti) May 18, 2017
RIP Chris Cornell condolences to @soundgarden & family. We've lost one of the greats. -MF
— Foster The People (@fosterthepeople) May 18, 2017
RIP CHRIS CORNELL
— ADAM LAMBERT (@adamlambert) May 18, 2017
Others in the entertainment world also reacted to the news of Cornell’s passing.
“I’m so shocked to wake up and hear about the sudden passing of Chris Cornell,” Carson Daly tweeted. “A quintessential voice of a generation. Praying for his family.”
Oh man. Sad to hear of the passing of Chris Cornell.
— Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) May 18, 2017
RIP Chris Cornell Soundgarden is forever grunge https://t.co/SuObrI1piU
— Blake Anderson (@UncleBlazer) May 18, 2017
I hope it's ok with the grief police if I say Chris Cornell's death has come as an unexpected gut punch this morning.
— Ed Byrne (@MrEdByrne) May 18, 2017
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
His voice pulverized all classification, forever otherworldly. My heart goes out to his family. RIP Chris Cornell. https://t.co/Qje25HWmUg
— Will Sasso (@WillSasso) May 18, 2017
This post has been updated.