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50 facts about Chris Cornell: was voted "Rock's Greatest Singer" by readers of Guitar World

Sep 17, 2015 04:45 PM EDT

Chris Cornell
(Photo : Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris) Caption:NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 08: Musician Chris Cornell attends the 'Into The Woods' World Premiere at Ziegfeld Theater on December 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
Chris Cornell
(Photo : Credit: Jason Davis) Caption:NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 02: Chris Cornell arrives at the 2014 CMT Artists Of The Year at Nashville Symphony Hall on December 2, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Davis/Getty Images for CMT)
Chris Cornell
(Photo : Credit: Rick Diamond) Caption:NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 02: Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and Jason Aldean perform on the 2014 CMT Artists Of The Year at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center on December 2, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT)
Chris Cornell
(Photo : Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris ) Caption:NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 08: Musician Chris Cornell attends the 'Into The Woods' World Premiere at Ziegfeld Theater on December 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
Caption:LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 12:Musician Chris Cornell arrives at An Evening With Jimmy Page and Chris Cornell in Conversation at Ace Hotel on November 12, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
(Photo : Credit: Frazer Harrison) Caption:LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 12:Musician Chris Cornell arrives at An Evening With Jimmy Page and Chris Cornell in Conversation at Ace Hotel on November 12, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Cornell is also known for his role as one of the architects of the '90s grunge movement, for his extensive catalog as a songwriter and for his near 4 octave vocal range as well as his powerful vocal belting technique. Learn 50 facts about Chris Cornell.

1. Achieving multi-platinum success with three legendary bands - selling over 30 million records worldwide - he has forged his own unique identity over three decades as a Grammy award-winning, Golden Globe nominated singer, songwriter, guitarist, composer and lyricist.

2. His career began with Seattle trailblazers Soundgarden, whose wild soundscapes combined visceral punk attitude with artistic depth.

3. Powerfully original, they were the first of their generation of Seattle bands to sign to a major label in 1989 and their work continued to evolve over the course of seven groundbreaking albums.

4. Soundgarden made a historic return to the live stage in 2010 and have since toured the world, releasing the all-new studio album, KING ANIMAL, to widespread acclaim.

5. In 1990, side project Temple of the Dog saw him experiment with a more soulful style alongside the future members of Pearl Jam.

6. Later in the decade, his critically acclaimed solo album EUPHORIA MORNING combined lush melody and instrumentation with lyrics which spoke of alienation and despair.

7. And as the millennium turned, he joined with three other musical pioneers from Rage Against the Machine to create supergroup Audioslave.

8. The multi-platinum band released three albums and toured stadiums around the world, becoming the first American rock group to perform a massive free concert in Castro's Cuba.

9. Cornell has also collaborated with many different artists, most recently the Zac Brown Band on their single "Heavy Is The Head", which peaked at #1 on rock radio in the US.

10. He was the first male American artist to write and perform the theme song for a James Bond movie ("You Know My Name" for Casino Royale). He wrote the end title song "Live to Rise" for The Avengers, the third highest grossing film of all time.

11. He duetted with Joy Williams on his song "Misery Chain" which appeared on the soundtrack of the Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave and his song "The Keeper" from Marc Forster's Machine Gun Preacher was nominated for a Golden Globe in 2012.

12. Cornell's recent solo acoustic 'Songbook' tour attracted sellout crowds and critical acclaim worldwide. Jim Farber of the New York Daily News observed, "sometimes you don't recognize the full power of a voice until you strip everything away from it." The tour's reinterpretations of classic Cornell songs are featured on his 2011 live album of the same name.

13. Cornell has also become involved in philanthropy, using music to support causes that help foster change. The Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation is currently raising funds and partnering with charitable organizations to mobilize support for children facing tough challenges, including homelessness, poverty, abuse and neglect.

14. Cornell is also known for his role as one of the architects of the '90s grunge movement, for his extensive catalog as a songwriter and for his near 4 octave vocal range as well as his powerful vocal belting technique.

15. He has released three solo studio albums, Euphoria Morning (1999), Carry On (2007), Scream (2009), and live album Songbook (2011).

16. Cornell received a Golden Globe Award nomination for his song "The Keeper" which appeared in the film Machine Gun Preacher and co-wrote and performed the theme song to the James Bond film Casino Royale (2006), "You Know My Name".

17. He was voted "Rock's Greatest Singer" by readers of Guitar World.

18. Ranked 4th in the list of "Heavy Metal's All-Time Top 100 Vocalists" by Hit Parader, 9th in the list of 'Best Lead Singers of All Time' by Rolling Stone, and 12th in MTV's "22 Greatest Voices in Music".

19. Cornell was born and raised in Seattle, Washington and attended Christ the King Catholic elementary school and Shorewood High School.

20. He has five siblings.

21. Cornell spent a two-year period between the ages of nine and eleven solidly listening to The Beatles after finding a large collection of Beatles records abandoned in the basement of a neighbor's house.

22. Cornell was a loner; however, he was able to deal with his anxiety around other people through rock music.

23. Before becoming a successful musician, he worked at a seafood wholesaler and was a sous-chef at a restaurant named Ray's Boathouse.

24. In the early 1980s, Cornell was a member of a cover band called The Shemps that performed around Seattle.

25. The Shemps also featured bassist Hiro Yamamoto. Following Yamamoto's departure from The Shemps, the band recruited guitarist Kim Thayil as its new guitarist. Cornell and Yamamoto stayed in contact, and after The Shemps broke up, Cornell and Yamamoto started jamming together, eventually bringing in Thayil to join them.

26. In 1998, Cornell began working on material for a solo album on which he collaborated with Alain Johannes and Natasha Shneider of the band Eleven.

27. In his first ever solo tour Cornell spent seven months on the road from September 13, 1999 to March 7, 2000 playing 61 shows in support of Euphoria Morning.

28. From 1986 to 1987, Cornell was also a member of the satirical Western swing band Center for Disease Control Boys.

29. Cornell worked as a co-producer and backing vocalist on the Screaming Trees' 1991 album, Uncle Anesthesia.

30. He acted in a cameo role and an onstage performance in Cameron Crowe's 1992 Seattle-based film, Singles.

31. He also contributed his solo song "Seasons", and Soundgarden's song "Birth Ritual", to the Singles soundtrack.

32. Cornell contributed vocals on Alice Cooper's "Stolen Prayer" and "Unholy War" (which he also wrote) from the 1994 album, The Last Temptation.

33. In 1997, Cornell collaborated with Eleven on a rendition of the song, "Ave Maria", for the Christmas compilation album, A Very Special Christmas 3.

34. Cornell has also performed live with the band Linkin Park.

35. Cornell co-wrote (with Brian Howes) David Cook's first post-American Idol album single, "Light On", released in 2008.

36. In 2009, he contributed vocals on the song, "Mister Dirt", from the album, Good.Night.Melody, by Joshua David.

37. Cornell sang one song (which he co-wrote) on Slash, Slash's solo record released in April 2010. The song is called "Promise" and it was premiered at amazon.com on March 26, 2010.

38. He contributed vocals on the song, "Lies", on the 2010 album, Third and Double, by Gabin which was subsequently released as a single in October 2010.

39. Cornell appears on the Carlos Santana album Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics of All Time, where he sings on the cover of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love".

40. In September 2011, he joined members of Pearl Jam for a Temple of the Dog live reunion at the 2-day PJ20 Festival in Alpine Valley, WI.

41. On January 30, 2015, Cornell joined Mike McCready and Barrett Martin plus Duff McKagan, the Seattle Symphony and others in a special 'Sonic Evolution' concert at Seattle's Benaroya Hall in a tribute to Mad Season. The performance was released as a live album.

42. Cornell made a cameo in the 1992 movie Singles.

43. Cornell was the face of fashion producer John Varvatos' 2006 ad campaign.

44. In 2012, Cornell created the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation. The Foundation is currently developing projects and programs working with leading charitable organizations and partners to raise awareness and mobilize support for children facing tough challenges including homelessness, poverty, abuse and/or neglect.

45. Cornell's songwriting often features non-standard chord progressions and melodies that do not conform with one diatonic scale. A prominent example is Black Hole Sun, which not only involves many kinds of open chords and several key changes in short sequences, but also unique melody phrases with large-interval jumps.

46. Cornell was previously married to Susan Silver, the manager of Alice in Chains and Soundgarden.

47. He had a daughter with Silver, Lillian Jean, in June 2000. He and Silver divorced in 2004.

48. In December 2008, Cornell reported via his official website that he had finally won back his collection of 15 guitars after a four-year court battle with Silver.

49. He is currently married to Vicky Karayiannis, a Paris-based American publicist of Greek heritage.

50. She gave birth to his second daughter, Toni, in September 2004, and his third child, Christopher Nicholas, in December 2005.

Source: chriscornell.com, Wikipedia.org

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Chris Cornell

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