Pointfest 35, a rock festival scheduled on May 20, 2017, at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Maryland Heights, St. Louis, was canceled.

The festival was supposed to feature such bands as Soundgarden, Greek Fire, Stone Four, and Pierce the Veil.

Soundgarden was also the most prominent performer at Rock on the Range, the three-day-long music concert in Columbus, Ohio, but the band had to cancel that.

Soundgarden no longer had any clear plan since that week and finally decided to stop making music altogether in October 2018.

One enormous tragedy struck Soundgarden on May 18, only two days before the band performed at Pointfest 35. Their lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Chris Cornell was found dead in a Detroit hotel room following a concert.

A medical examiner later determined that Cornell committed suicide by hanging, although the decision would be a subject of a years-long dispute in court.

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10 /10 The 911 Call

According to Michael Woody, the Director of Media Relations for the Detroit Police Department, a 911 call from a family friend came through at around midnight on May 17.

This friend made the call to inform the police that Chris Cornell was lying unresponsive on the bathroom floor in a hotel room at the MGM Grand Detroit.

EMS workers pronounced him dead at 1:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 18, 2017. Cornell’s publicist said in a statement that the family would be working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause of death.

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9 /10 Wednesday Concert

There was certainly no sign of something wrong with Cornell during a show earlier on Wednesday.

Shortly after he had just arrived in Detroit, he even fired off a seemingly positive jubilant message of social media suggesting how glad he was to be back in Detroit, which he referred to as “Rock City.”

Cornell also posted a photo of the band’s name on the Fox Theatre marquee. The show went great overall. As usual, he finished the encore, playing a version of “Slaves and Bulldozers,” from the 1991 Soundgarden album.


8 /10 The Brady Bunch

Chris Cornell was born on July 20, 1964, in Seattle, Washington. He was the son of an accountant mother and a pharmacist father. He had three sisters and two brothers.

In some interviews, Chris jokingly likened his own family to The Brady Bunch. 

Music had already played a significant influence on him since childhood. Cornell took piano and guitar lessons as a child before learning his way around a drum kit, which he played during the early days of Soundgarden. Unfortunately, drug abuse was also part of his early teenage years.

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7 /10 Rock Star And Father Of Three

Cornell was 52 years old when he passed away. At the time of his death, he was married to Vicky Karayiannis.

The couple had two children: daughter Toni in 2004 and son Christopher in 2005. Cornell had another daughter named Lillian Jean in 2000 from a former marriage with Susan Silver.

His friends and peers posted tributes to him on social media following his death. Perry Farrell, the frontman of Jane’s Addiction, wrote that Chris Cornell had flown into the black hole sun, referencing a Soundgarden hit.

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6 /10 A Different View Of Seattle

Soundgarden sold more than 30 million albums worldwide. Despite the band’s success, Cornell still questioned the attention that his hometown Seattle was getting, especially after the death of Kurt Cobain.

Cornell said that all the attention was taking a lot of things away from the city. In his view, Cobain’s suicide and the rock tragedy from that event was somehow turned into a fashion statement, and people lost good friends in the process.

While he admitted that Soundgarden benefited as a band, the impact on Seattle itself was not good as he had expected.

5 /10 History Of Drug Abuse

Cornell found himself trapped in periods of drug and alcohol abuse throughout various points in his early career.

He managed to get sober in the late 2000s following a rehab. The latter part of his life was filled with reunions, including when Audioslave played a one-off gig at the Anti-Inaugural Ball in L.A.

Cornell had a prescription of Ativan (Lorazepam), an anxiety medication for recovering addicts.

Side effects of the drug, especially in a higher dose, include possible adverse reactions, which may lead to confusion and thoughts of suicide, in addition to mood swings and drowsiness.

4 /10 Cause Of Death Dispute

In 2018, the Cornell family filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court alleging that Lorazepam, prescribed by Dr. Robert Koblin, caused the adverse reaction of erratic behavior, which eventually led to Chris Cornell’s death.

The lawsuit alleged Dr. Koblin and his office of “negligently and repeatedly” prescribing the mind-altering medication, which clouded Cornell’s judgment, impaired his cognition, rendered him unable to control impulsive behaviors, and ultimately took his own life.

Furthermore, the lawsuit stated that Dr. Koblin did all that despite his knowledge of Cornell’s history of drug abuse.

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3 /10 Unwanted Attention

As with many cases involving the death of a celebrity, the lawsuit also attracted significant media coverage and received overwhelming attention from fans.

According to the court filing, Cornell’s children Toni and Christopher were harassed and threatened due to the extensive publication.

This was probably the main reason that when Cornell’s family and Dr. Koblin had agreed to settle the lawsuit in April 2021, everyone kept it close to the chest.

The media finally learned about the confidential settlement, but it involved no unnecessary, unwanted attention.

2 /10 Unnoticed Settlement Filing

In a court filing on April 2, 2021, the Cornell family attorney stated that plaintiffs and defendants had reached a settlement agreement.

The documents also said that an essential part of the compromise was minimizing publicity and keeping the agreement confidential.

The documents had gone largely unnoticed until City News Service reported them on May 7. Even after the agreement had been made, a judge still has to approve part of the children’s settlement. Otherwise, the case will go to trial.

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1 /10 A Big Presence In Grunge

Chris Cornell died in that Detroit hotel room in 2017. That said, his history and achievement remain a significant presence in the grunge rock and music industry at large.

He was a troubled kid who found salvation in music and channeled his dark side into his songs.

Jimmy Page called Chris Cornell “incredibly talented, incredibly young, and incredibly missed.” Elton John said that Cornell was a great singer, songwriter, and the loveliest man.

On November 16, 2018, a compilation album featuring songs from Cornell’s solo career and bands was released and titled “Chris Cornell.”

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