Musicians around the world are in mourning today over the news that grunge icon Chris Cornell died suddenly and unexpectedly last night at the age of 52. Cornell helped grunge rock break into the mainstream in the early 90s as the frontman for Soundgarden, whose 1994 hit 'Black Hole Sun' rivals Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' (1991) and Pearl Jam's 'Alive' as the anthem of the grunge era.
But he also worked with artists from many different genres to redefine popular music in his time. In honor of his legacy, here's a look back at Chris Cornell's best collaborations.
Temple of the Dog
Before Soundgarden rose to superstardom with the release of the ironically titled album 'Superunknown' (1994), Cornell gained the attention of mainstream rock critics in 1991 as the lead singer of Temple of the Dog - featuring Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron and Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard and Mike McCready (with special guest Eddie Vedder singing on a few tracks of the band's one and only album).
Temple of the Dog was formed to honor Andrew Wood, the former Mother Love Bone frontman who died of a heroin overdose in 1990. Cornell wrote the song Say Hello 2 Heaven specifically about Wood.
"The album itself was always designed to be sort of an anti-soundtrack, more like a souvenir and a simple mixtape of some of Seattle's finest," Crowe later said. "It really is and was a tribute to those hard-working bands that welcomed me to their city with open arms, and the music so many still love so much."
Cornell also made a cameo in the movie.
Later in 1992, Cornell teamed up with the grunge outfit Screaming Trees to produce their EP Winter Songs Tour Tracks, which included the minor hit 'Bed of Roses' (no relation to the Bon Jovi song of the same name).
Chris Cornell was a busy man in 1992. On top of the 'Singles' soundtrack and Screaming Trees EP, he got together with Mudhoney's Mark Arm to record the song 'Right Arm' for the Alice in Chains EP SAP. The one-song supergroup was credited on the album as Alice Mudgarden.
To honor fellow Seattle rock legend Jimi Hendrix, Chris Cornell teamed up once more with Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, Mike McCready and Matt Cameron to record 'Hey Baby' for the Hendrix tribute album 'Stone Free' (1993). The supergroup was credited on the recording as M.A.C.C.
Artis the Spoonman
Soundgarden's 1994 hit 'Spoonman' was written about the Seattle busker known as Artis the Spoonman, who became a local legend by playing his utensils in the Pike Place Market. So it was only fitting that the band invited Artis into the studio to lay down the spoons on the song.
He also rocked his silverware in the 'Spoonman' video.
Alice Cooper wrote and recorded two songs with Cornell - 'Stolen Prayer' and 'Unholy War' - for the godfather of shock rock's 1994 album 'The Last Temptation'. Years later, Cooper opened up about the experience and revealed his favorite Soundgarden song.
"Out of all the bunch [of grunge rockers] out there, Chris was probably the best songwriter," Cooper later told VH1. "Chris Cornell was the guy I listened to and...'Black Hole Sun' - that's almost The Beatles - McCartney/Lennon stuff."
The Man in Black became popular with a new generation of fans after covering Soundgarden's 'Rusty Cage' (1992) on the Grammy Award winning-album 'Unchained' (1996). Cornell loved the cover so much that he often played 'Rusty Cage' live using the arrangement put together by Johnny Cash, who was one of the grunge rocker's childhood heroes.
Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens)
Cornell surprised fans of Yusuf Islam (the folk singer formerly known as Cat Stevens) by appearing onstage at a 2016 concert at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles. They two sang a soulful version of the 1970 hit 'Wild World'.
Sadly, Cornell never got to perform the song with Jimmy Page, who paid tribute to Cornell earlier today on Twitter after hearing news of the grunge icon's passing.