Elton John, Billy Idol, St. Vincent, and More React to the Death of Chris Cornell

The legendary Soundgarden frontman passed away last night.

By Shawn Cooke May 18, 2017
(Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Activision)
(Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Activision)

Chris Cornell, best known as the frontman of Soundgarden and Audioslave, has died at 52. As first reported by the New York Times, he was found dead after playing a Soundgarden show in Detroit on Wednesday night. Update (5/18, 1:54 p.m.): The Associated Press has reported that Cornell's died of suicide by hanging, per the medical examiner's report. According to the police department, Cornell's wife called a family friend to check on the singer's well-being, and they forced the hotel door open to find Cornell on the bathroom floor.

As Stereogum points out, Soundgarden ended their show last night on a presciently bleak note by playing two songs about death: Badmotorfinger's "Slaves & Bulldozers" and a cover of Led Zeppelin's "In My Time of Dying." Watch footage of Cornell's final performance below.

His influence is difficult to overstate: With Soundgarden—and for a minute, with Temple of the Dog—Cornell was a trailblazing figure in grunge, expanding the boundaries of what you'd think a human voice can accomplish. Soundgarden distinguished itself in a crowded field by pummeling songs about despondency and alienation. Cornell, who suffered from depression since he was a teenager, belted across four octaves like his life depended on it—which makes these reports all the more devastating to hear.

Since the news broke, artists across all genres (and mediums) have paid tribute to the grunge icon on social media. Check out reactions from Jimmy Page, Laura Jane Grace, Questlove, Elton John, Chuck D, and more below.

AudiHole Son. Damn Chris. Rest In Power. A post shared by Questlove Gomez (@questlove) on