For music fans everywhere – particularly the ones who wore ripped jeans, plaid shirts, and baby doll dresses during the grunge movement in the 1990s – May 18th, 2017 was a tragically devastating day. Despite the tone of depression and charming apathy in his voice during hit songs such as “Black Hole Sun” and “I Am the Highway,” many music fans did not expect to hear about the death of Chris Cornell in Detroit, Michigan.
Ruled as a suicide due to substance abuse, Chris Cornell’s life ended abruptly at the age of 52. His voice was an unforgettable one; he was voted “Rock’s Greatest Singer” by Guitar World, as well as 4th in the list of “Heavy Metal’s All-Time Top 100 Vocalists” by Hit Parader. Even more impressive, however, is that he was listed as 9th place in “Best Lead Singers of All Time” by Rolling Stone.
His latest album, Higher Truth, which was released on September 18th, 2015, received a three-star rating according to Rolling Stone. On this album, you can hear his very popular song, “Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart.” Many of his fans are broken hearted after the news of his passing.
Famed as an icon of alternative metal and grunge music, possessing a four-octave vocal range, social media posts have flooded each outlet with words of disbelief. The person in most disbelief, however, is Chris Cornell’s now widowed wife, Vicky Karayiannis.
Vicky has published an open letter to Chris Cornell. In her letter, she writes, “I’m sorry you were alone, and I know that was not you, my sweet Christopher.” She goes on to say that she thinks about him every minute of the day, and that his children know that his death was not an act of his behavior.
Sadly, Vicky believes that the cause of his death might have been his anxiety medication. Chris Cornell was stated to take “an extra one or two.” She does not think that he purposely took his own life. It is still a tragic loss for the music world, and perhaps a lesson for us all.