One of the pioneers of the Seattle-based grunge-music revolution is dead.
Soundgarden's primary songwriter, singer, and rhythm guitarist, Chris Cornell, was 52.
He died after a Soundgarden show in Detroit.
Cornell ranked ninth on a Rolling Stone list of the top 100 lead singers and fourth on the Hit Parader list of the 100 all-time best heavy-metal vocalists.
He was also the lead singer of supergroup Audioslave, which included former Rage Against the Machine members; collaborated with Pearl Jam members to form Temple of the Dog; and released four solo albums.
"The job of the rock icon is to violently go out and smash down what is the norm," Cornell told the Straight in 2008, "and if you're successful at doing that, you then become that norm, and it's someone else's job to come along and smash you down. If you're someone like me, you have to accept the fact that at some point you became the status quo that needed to be destroyed. And when you come to that realization, it becomes kinda liberating, 'cause the roles aren't really defined anymore."
In the same interview with Steve Newton, Cornell said that the grunge movement was a backlash to how stagnant commercial rock music had become.
"At the time it felt like most of the rock bands on television were all cowriting with the same two or three people," Cornell said. "All the songs sounded just the same, all the videos looked the same, and there was also a large separation between the bands and their audience. And then suddenly here's Nirvana with the video for 'Smells Like Teen Spirit', where they're just wearing sorta dirty, ripped-up clothes, and Kurt's hair is tangled and hangin' over his face. Their song rocked harder, it was catchier and better than any commercial rock that's happening, but they looked just like the kids that were watching them on TV.
"So it [grunge] was a reaction to that sort of rock-star concept," Cornell continued in the 2008 interview. "And now there's a new concept you can ponder, which is that, because of Guitar Hero and Rock Band, there's a new generation that is learning about the mythical rock icon. The music industry cannot manufacture or create or in any way deliver a new rock icon, and yet the idea of being a rock icon is at its height of popularity."