Music fans across the country mourned the loss Thursday of Chris Cornell, but his death was felt acutely in Seattle, where he grew up and formed Soundgarden in the 1980s. Before a home game that evening against the White Sox, the Mariners honored the memory of the grunge-era icon with a pregame tribute and by playing his music during the contest.
Seattle lost a legend. Rest in peace, Chris Cornell.
— Mariners (@Mariners) May 18, 2017
The Mariners held a moment of silence for Cornell, who was found dead at age 52 in a Detroit hotel room after playing a concert in that city Wednesday with Soundgarden. His death was ruled a suicide by hanging, and a publicist said the singer/guitarist’s family was “shocked” by the news.
Along with Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Alice in Chains and several other bands, Soundgarden helped to define and popularize a heavy, often downcast, form of rock that exploded in the 1990s and hastened the end of the hair-metal era. Cornell went on to work as a solo musician, as well as with bands such as Audioslave and Temple of the Dog.
Mariners with a pregame tribute to Chris Cornell pic.twitter.com/LpRMTedTvI
— Colleen Kane (@ChiTribKane) May 19, 2017
— Gregg Greene (@RealGregg) May 19, 2017
The tribute echoed one paid to Prince by the Twins last year in the wake of the pop-music superstar’s death. Minnesota released doves at the pitcher’s mound before a game against the Indians, and every Twins player used his songs as their walk-up music.
Athletics third baseman Trevor Plouffe announced that he would honor Cornell with his walk-up music during a home game against the Red Sox. Plouffe went with Soundgarden’s biggest hit, “Black Hole Sun.”
I'm shook right now. RIP Chris. I'm changing my walk-up music tonight so we can hear your voice blaring through the Coliseum speakers again. pic.twitter.com/xesLkGhTcf
— Trevor Plouffe (@trevorplouffe) May 18, 2017
The Tigers offered a nod Thursday to Cornell via social media and in their media notes for a home game against the Orioles, which used song titles of his.
— Freep Sports (@freepsports) May 18, 2017
Elsewhere in Seattle, saddened fans created makeshift memorials at the Sound Garden sculpture park, from which Cornell’s band took its name, and the “Black Sun” monument in Volunteer Park, which may have inspired the song. In addition, the city’s famed Space Needle went dark for an hour.
— KING 5 News (@KING5Seattle) May 19, 2017