The music world and fans all over the globe are still reeling from news of singer-songwriter Chris Cornell’s untimely death at the age of 52. According to The Associated Press, Cornell was found unresponsive due to hanging in his Detriot, Michigan hotel room after performing with his reunited band Soundgarden. No further details have been released since a full autopsy is to be completed.
Though Cornell is best known for his involvement in the 1990s grunge movement and for fronting both Soundgarden and Audioslave, he has also left a mark on the country music genre. In 1996, country music icon Johnny Cash recorded Soundgarden’s “Rusty Cage” for his album Unchained. Cash’s version was stripped down, presenting an vastly different delivery of the song’s strong lyrics.
Upon meeting Cash, Cornell recalled to Rolling Stone, “I was just awestruck. I was totally scared, even though he couldn’t have been more gentlemanly. I wanted the conversation to be over before I put my foot in my mouth.”
Watch Johnny perform the cover live in 1997 on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno alongside Marty Stuart below!
In 2014, Cornell participated in Jason Aldean’s CMT Artist of the Year Special where he provided guitar and vocal support on the country star’s hit “Just Getting Started.”
“I only got to work with Chris once, but he was a true rock star,” Aldean shared with Rolling Stone Country. “He was a badass on stage and a class act off stage.”
Enjoy watching the electric collaboration below!
In 2015, Cornell collaborated with the Zac Brown Band on the track “Heavy Is the Head” off of the group’s album Jekyll + Hyde. The band posted the following message via Facebook, “We are saddened today by the loss of a friend and a true Rock and Roll legend. We were blessed to have had a chance to work with him. Much love to his family.”
Enjoy Cornell’s vocals and guitar work during his Saturday Night Live performance with the versatile country group below!
During the span of his career, Cornell released five solo albums, six Soundgarden albums, three albums with Audioslave, one album with Temple of the Dog, five EPs, and two greatest hits compilations. He is survived by wife Vicky Karayiannis and three children. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones during this difficult time.
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