Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, also a prominent solo musician and founding member of both Audioslave and Temple Of The Dog, died unexpectedly on Wednesday. The prolific performer was 52. At the time, he was in Detroit, having just finished a concert with Soundgarden. On Thursday, Cornell's death was reportedly ruled a suicide by investigating authorities.
Read more: Chris Cornell dies at 52 — UPDATED
The influential singer and songwriter left a distinguished string of stellar albums, popular singles and classic performances in his wake. As a '90s grunge pioneer and trailblazing aughties rocker, Cornell's talent gained him millions of fans all over the world. Compiled in his honor, here are just a few touching times the late Soundgarden vocalist left his mark on the music scene.
Read more: Musicians reflect on Chris Cornell’s death
Chris Cornell covering Prince's “Nothing Compares 2 U”
In 2015, Cornell delivered a stunning version of Prince's classic slow jam “Nothing Compares 2 U,” a tune popularized in 1990 by singer Sinéad O'Connor. The performance was part of SiriusXM's “Artist Confidential” series, captured as Chris was promoting his fourth and final solo album, 2015's Higher Truth. Backed by his own acoustic guitar accompaniment and soaring strings, Cornell's emotional cover of the song would precede Prince's own death in 2016.
Chris Cornell accepting the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance
At the '95 Grammys, Soundgarden beat out Pantera, Megadeth, Rollins Band and Anthrax for the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance, winning with their 1994 Superunknown single, “Spoonman.” Cornell accepted the honor indebted but incredulous—he began his speech by teasing the audience about the category. (“We're not gonna leave the stage tonight until you tell us we're heavy metal.”) Cornell also thanked his mom, who was in attendance.
Chris Cornell reuniting with Temple Of The Dog
Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder introduced Chris Cornell as “one of the greatest musicians on the planet” at the 2014 Bridge School Benefit concert, where the alt rock duo performed Temple Of The Dog's staple, “Hunger Strike.” Vedder's acknowledgment is no act—Cornell introduced the then-unknown vocalist to the music world on the 1991 Temple Of The Dog album, a grunge harbinger that came a full four months before Pearl Jam's debut even hit the shelves.
Chris Cornell unveiling Audioslave atop the Ed Sullivan Theater
Audioslave—Cornell's rock-and-roll supergroup with Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk—made their live debut on the Late Show With David Letterman in 2002. The quartet unleashed an energetic reading of their first single, “Cochise,” on top of the marquee outside of Manhattan's Ed Sullivan Theater. Reportedly, it was the first time that any band had performed from the urban peak of Letterman's TV landmark.
Chris Cornell performing for the last time with Soundgarden
Thursday's news of Cornell's sudden death illuminated fan footage from the musician's final concert performance. Soundgarden's Detroit show at the Fox Theatre on Wednesday, May 17, found Cornell and the band lighting up the deep cut “Slaves & Bulldozers,” a track from their 1991 album, Badmotorfinger. The live run-through incorporated elements of Led Zeppelin's celebrated blues-rock turn on the traditional gospel music rag, “In My Time Of Dying.”