Chris Cornell and the Grunge Gods Gone Too Soon

Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell died unexpectedly at age 52. Here, The Daily Beast remembers him and other grunge-rock icons.

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Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell is undisputedly one of the founding fathers of grunge music. The Soundgarden, Audioslave, and Temple of the Dog frontman paved the way for bands like Nirvana to bring 90s grunge to the mainstream. The Wayne County Medical Examiner announced Thursday that Cornell's death has been ruled a suicide. Here, Chris Cornell and Matt Cameron of Soundgarden perform a sold out show at Manchester Apollo on September 13, 2013 in Manchester, England.

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Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain, frontman for Nirvana, died at age 27 of apparent suicide while on heroin. Nirvana is easily the poster child for the grunge movement, with their 1991 mega-hit “Smells Like Teen Spirit” propelling them from Sub Pop’s underground darlings to radio regulars.

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Layne Staley

Aside from Nirvana, another obvious grunge pioneer was the Seattle natives Alice in Chains. Despite their success in the early 90s, their progress was stunted by Staley's ongoing substance abuse. Frontman Layne Staley died of a drug overdose April 5, 2002—strangely, eight years to the day that Kurt Cobain had died. Here, Layne Staley performs with Alice in Chains at Lollapalooza 93 at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View Calif., June 23rd, 1993.

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Scott Weiland

Scott Weiland, frontman for Stone Temple Pilots, had a expansive career of three decades. Known for his electric stage presence and erratic behavior, Weiland also struggled with substance abuse throughout his career and died of an accidental overdose in 2015. According to an autopsy, the former Stone Temple Pilots frontman, who was found dead on his tour bus in Minneapolis on Dec. 3, overdosed on cocaine, alcohol, and methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA). Here, Scott Weiland performing with Stone Temple Pilots at Madison Square Garden in New York City on November 25, 1996.

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Shannon Hoon

Shannon Hoon was only 28 when he died of cocaine overdose in 1995, only a couple years after Blind Melon's success with their hit "No Rain." Here, Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon performs on stage in 1994.