Currently living in Seattle and having ties to people who knew former musician Chris Cornell — who tragically took his own life last May — I have to tell you how much his death hit me. No, I never met him myself, but seeing the impact he had on the people I know who did know him, even being part of his musical journey from unknown to rock god, is pretty incredible. Needless to say, Chris Cornell's voice is one that will forever be recognized and remembered for being as powerful as any.
Unfortunately, like other people we've seen, Cornell had demons inside him that he was battling that none of us knew about. His profession — a lyrical genius who performed and was adored by millions — wasn't enough to satisfy wounds that, ultimately, led to his suicide. Sure, his songs portrayed a dark and somewhat disturbing scene, but there weren't many who thought he'd take his own life. It's one reason why the letter his wife wrote to him after his death is such a tear-jerker, because she didn't even know about the struggle he was going through.
Much like former Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington's suicide last year, there are still so many questions that will never be answered about Chris Cornell. And, while we'll never know why the two musicians took their own lives, the memory of them both will continue to be shared through their music.
Another example of that is Chris Cornell's posthumous tribute to the legendary Johnny Cash, with the former Soundgarden and Audioslave from man showing his vocal skills to Cash's song, "You Never Knew My Mind." It's both powerful, beautiful, heartbreaking and a small sign that paints the picture as to some of the things Cornell was struggling with in his mind. Take a listen below.
Damn, Chris Cornell had some pipes, guys, didn't he? Even after his death, he's truly one of the best male vocalists ever, showing off his range and tone like few other musicians can. And Cornell's version of Johnny Cash's song only puts it on full display — as so many of his songs do.
The Cornell version of “You Never Knew My Mind” is set to appear on an upcoming tribute project called Johnny Cash: Forever Words. The album is set to release on April 6, and features various songs that were adapted from Cash's poems that he had kept in a book that was published under the same name as the album. Other artists included are Elvis Costello, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and the Jayhawks, among others.
Gone but never forgotten, here's to the legacy of Chris Cornell carrying on. As someone who still sees the impact on people here in Seattle, he left incredible memories on many.