1964 – 2017
Chris Cornell, who sang the title song for ‘Casino Royale’ in 2006, has died Wednesday night at age 52. His manager Brian Bumbery said, his death came sudden and unexpected after having performed on stage only hours before. Police found the singer unresponsive with a band around his neck inside his hotel room at the MGM Grand Hotel in Detroit. A preliminary autopsy was conducted later that morning. On Thursday afternoon, the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office issued a statement to E! News, saying, “The cause of death has been determined as hanging by suicide. A full autopsy report has not yet been completed.”
Born in Seattle in 1964, Cornell had risen to fame with his band Soundgarden in the early 1990s. Together with bands such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam, they defined the popular grunge genre. Mixing punk, metal and classic rock music to an aggressive “wall of sound”, Soundgarden reached its height in 1994 with the album ‘Superunknown’ that entered the Billboard charts on the top position.
Chris Cornell started out as the drummer for Soundgarden but soon switched to playing rhythm guitar before becoming the lead singer and songtexter of the band. Just like the noisy guitars, Cornells four octave voice was equally defining for the band. The music was powerful and rough and of a piercing clarity, especially in higher piches.
After Soundgarden had broken up in 1997, Cornell released the first of his four solo albums in 1999. He joined the band Audioslave in 2001 and produced three albums with them until they broke up in 2007. Shortly before, Chris Cornell had sung the title song “You know my Name” for the 2006 James Bond film ‘Casino Royale’, a song he had written together with film composer David Arnold. Musically the most aggressive title song in the James Bond series, it perfectly underlined the reboot of the franchise with actor Daniel Craig. After ‘The Living Daylights’ in 1987, it was also the first Bond title song performed by a male singer. Furthermore it was the second after song after “All Time High” by Rita Coolidge that made no direct reference to the films title.
In his personal life, Chris Cornell was married twice and is survived by three children. The singer had been addicted to drugs and alcohol for many years, but was clean after rehab.
The Bond Bulletin wishes to express the deepest sympathy for Chris Cornells family and friends in this difficult time.