Chris Cornell, the first American man to sing a Bond theme song, has died. The lead singer of the band Soundgarden was just 52 years old when he passed in Detroit on Wednesday night, May 17.
With a vast range and powerful voice, Cornell was a left-field but inspired choice to sing the well-received theme song for 2006's Casino Royale, Daniel Craig's first turn as 007, which became his biggest hit in both the US and Europe.
Cornell was born in Seattle in 1964, where he formed the band Soundgarden at the age of 20 with Hiro Yamamoto and Kim Thayil. They made six albums, and 1994's Superunknown was a number one smash which sold 5x Platinum. In 1997 they split, and Cornell pursued a solo career, releasing a further five albums. He also became frontman of the band Audioslave, who too had a number one album in 2005.
Soundgarden had been touring again, and performed a concert in Detroit on May 17, just hours before Chris's death. On Twitter, Cornell had tweeted his excitement for playing Rock City again.
His family described their loss as "sudden and unexpected." What was a victory lap tour has now been cut short by the tragic death of somebody with talent to spare.
Cornell is survived by his wife Vicky Karayiannis, their two children together, and a daughter from his first marriage.