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Reactions & Updates After Chris Cornell's Passing

The music world is still reeling the day after Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell's shocking suicide after the group's concert Wednesday night (May 17) in Detroit.

Here's the latest on what's transpired since...

  • Cornell's wife Vicky released a statement on Thursday saying "Chris's death is a loss that escapes words and has created an emptiness in my heart that will never be filled. As everyone who knew him commented, Chris was a devoted father and husband. He was my best friend. His world revolved around his family first and of course, his music, second. He flew home for Mother's Day to spend time with our family. He flew out mid-day Wednesday, the day of the show, after spending time with the children. When we spoke before the show, we discussed plans for a vacation over Memorial Day and other things we wanted to do." She said that when she spoke to Cornell after Soundgarden's in Detroit, "I noticed he was slurring his words; he was different. When he told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two, I contacted security and asked that they check on him. What happened is inexplicable and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details. I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life. The outpouring of love and support from his fans, friends, and family means so much more to us than anyone can know. Thank you for that, and for understanding how difficult this is for us."
  • Cornell family attorney, Kirk Pasich, said in another statement that the family wants further investigation into his death: "Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris -- or if any substances contributed to his demise. Chris, a recovering addict, had a prescription for Ativan and may have taken more Ativan than recommended dosages. The family believes that if Chris took his life, he did not know what he was doing and that drugs or other substances may have affected his actions."  The remaining six dates on the group's spring tour have, not surprisingly, been canceled.
  • Rock on the Range in Columbus, Ohio, where Soundgarden was to perform Friday (May 19), has promised to pay tribute to Cornell during the weekend. In a statement, organizers said they were "devastated" by Cornell's death, adding, "He was a true hero to music, the voice of a generation" who will be "watching down on us as we celebrate and honor him all weekend long."
  • At a Rock on the Range kickoff show on Thursday night (May 17), Stone Sour played Soundgarden's "Outshined" in tribute to Cornell, as frontman Corey Taylor told the crowd, "We lost a rock 'n' roll brother today...He was one of my favorite singers, he was one of my favorite f***ing all-time songwriters and the fact that he is gone makes this world a little bit smaller...I had the pleasure of hanging out with him and he was honestly one of the coolest motherf***ers I had ever met in my f***ing life."
  • Megadeth also played "Outshined" in Cornell's honor, during a concert Thursday in Tokyo. Frontman Dave Mustaine told the crowd that, "When I found out I was so sad. We have lost on one of the most beautiful voices in rock history...We're here with you and we want to celebrate Chris' life."
  • Pointfest in St. Louis, where Soundgarden was to play on Saturday (May 20), has been canceled entirely.
  • The Fillmore in Denver, where Soundgarden was due to play May 22, posted a "Rest In Peace" message on its marquee.
  • Linkin Park dedicated its Thursday night (May 18) performance of its single "One More Light" on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" to Cornell.
  • One of the most heartfelt tributes to Cornell came from Tom Morello, who worked with Cornell in the band Audioslave. Morello wrote, "I love you, brother. Thank you for your friendship and your humor and your intellect and your singular and unmatched talent. It was a great honor to know you as a friend and as a band mate. I am devastated and deeply saddened that you are gone dear friend but your unbridled rock power, delicate haunting melodies and the memory of your smile are with us forever. Your beautiful voice and beautiful self will always be in my heart. God bless you and your family."
  • In Cuba, where Audioslave performed during 2005, the magazine Visitor recalled the show as "a once-in-a lifetime experience" and paid tribute to Cornell as a "rock hero."

 

Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.