Thursday, May 18, 2017

5.18.17 Hero of the Day: Chris Cornell

Bee-otch of the Day honors are awarded Monday through Thursday, Bee-otch of the Week is awarded Friday on


Name: Chris Cornell
Age: was 52
Occupation: rock legend
Last Seen: Detroit
Awarded For: being a true rock legend

Tonight, I should be giving the Bee-otch of the Day to the late Roger Ailes, the founder of the Fox News Channel.

Yes, he brainwashed millions of people into thinking that tabloid news is real and he harassed several women during his run at FNC. But the truth is, I want to honor a man who had a positive impact on a lot of rock fans.

Christopher John Boyle was a young loner who listened to old Beatles albums while living in a sea of anxiety and depression. But, it built his love of rock. At the age of 20, Chris - who had adopted his mother's surname of Cornell - formed the band that eventually became Soundgarden. The group released several EPs in the late 80s until releasing their major label debut in 1991, "Badmotorfinger". Three singles were released from the album including "Rusty Cage", a tune later covered by the Man in Black himself, Johnny Cash. "Outshined" became a rock radio hit while the video for "Jesus Christ Pose" was banned from MTV for the perception that it was anti-Christian.

That same year, Cornell formed Temple of the Dog with members of Mother Love Bone, a band whose singer, Andrew Wood died a year later from a heroin overdose. Their self-titled album produced the hits "Say Hello 2 Heaven" and "Hunger Strike", all songs dedicated to Wood. Of course, the remaining members of the band are still together as Pearl Jam.

However, 1994's "Superunknown" was their breakout success. "Black Hole Sun" became the biggest hit for the band, even invading top 40 pop radio. "Spoonman" and "Fell On Black Days" were also huge rock hits. Two years later, the band gave us "Down On the Upside" which produced hits such as "Burden On My Hand" and "Pretty Noose".

Sadly, Soundgarden originally disbanded in 1997 and Cornell went solo. He had a few hits, including "Can't Change Me" and "Sunshower". He even sang the theme to a James Bond movie,  But, he decided to get into another band.

In 2001, Cornell joined the three non-Zach de la Rocha members of Rage Against the Machine to form Audioslave. The group released three albums and several hit singles such as "Cochise", "Show Me How To Live", "Like a Stone" and "Be Yourself". They disbanded in 2006 and reformed just this past year.

Cornell once again went back to his solo career, even performing the theme to the James Bond film "Casino Royale", "You Know My Name". However in 2010, Cornell announced that "school was back in session" and Soundgarden had reformed after a 13-year hiatus. "King Animal" was released in 2012 with the hits "Been Away Too Long" and "By Crooked Steps". In 2015, he scored an unexpected rock hit with country music's Zac Brown Band with "Heavy is the Head".

Cornell had been touring with Soundgarden and played Detroit's Fox Theatre last night. Not long after the show, his body was found with a rope around his neck. Chris Cornell was 52 years old.

What might be sad is that of the "big four" Seattle grunge bands of the early 90s - Soundgarden, Nirvana, Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam - only Pearl Jam is the only band whose lead singer is still alive. What might be the saddest of all is the fact that Cornell left behind a wife and three children, aged 17, 13 and 12.

So, what caused a man who a successful music career, three beloved bands, the honor of performing a theme to a James Bond movie and a song re-recorded by Johnny Cash to end it all? True, he battled drug problems and depression in the past, but in reality, time will only tell. He had it all, but still, he accomplished more in 52 years than most will do in their lifetime.

Thanks, Chris. Say hello to Heaven for us.

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