It should come as no surprise that the tragic death of Chris Cornell, frontman to Soundgarden and Audioslave, has sent shockwaves throughout the rock community, not just for fans, but for fellow musicians as well. Dozens and dozens of artists across all genres have expressed love, sadness, and gratitude to Cornell and his family. But sometimes words don’t cut it, and several artists have decided to pay tribute by covering Soundgarden songs.
First is the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who are currently on tour. At a stop in Indianoplis, the band took a second to tribute Cornell by covering “Seasons,” an acoustic track Cornell had written. Guitarist Josh Klinghoffer came out for an encore, where he performed the cover alone.
Megadeth also contributed their own cover. At a show in Tokyo, Dave Mustaine broke the news to a shocked crowd, and expressed his love and admiration of Cornell. “When I found out I was so sad,” he said. “We have lost one of the most beautiful voice sin rock history and I don’t even know what to say other than that we’re going to dedicate this next song to you, our friends in Tokyo, because we’re here with you and we want to celebrate Chris’ life.“ Mustaine told the audience he could never sing like Cornell, and asked the crowd to join in their cover of Soundgarden’s “Outshined.”
Ann Wilson, of the legendary rock band Heart, covered the infamous “Black Hole Sun,” during her live performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Stone Sour also did a cover of “Outshined,” sharing similar grief. “He was one of my favorite singers, one of my favorite f***ing songwriters, and the fact that he’s gone makes this world feel a little bit smaller…so we decided we were going to pay a little tribute to Mr. Cornell tonight.”
Corey Taylor went on to admit that they just learned the song that day so they could honor Cornell. “In fact I’m not completely sure we’ve learned it, but we’re gonna give it our f***ing best, I’m gonna give it my best. I’m no Chris Cornell, but if you know the words you help us sing it.”
The Space Needle in grunge’s birthplace, Seattle, went dark to honor Cornell’s passing.
Check out the videos of the performances below.
Red Hot Chili Peppers-“Seasons”
Ann Wilson-“Black Hole Sun”
[UPDATE 5/22] As the days have gone people, more and more musicians are paying tribute to Cornell’s passing in the form of covers.
Living Colour-“Blow Up the Outside World”
Living Colour, one of the most underrated and talented rock bands, honored Chris Cornell at their show in Perth this past weekend with a cover of “Blow Up the Outside World,” with lead singer Corey Glover choking up towards the end.
Ryan Adams-“Black Hole Sun”
Singer/songwriter Ryan Adams gave a mellow cover of Cornell’s most iconic hit, “Black Hole Sun” while touring in New Zealand.
Aerosmith-“Black Hole Sun”/”Dream On”
Aerosmith took time during their show in Batumi to play “Black Hole Sun,” with a picture of Cornell on stage, followed by the Aerosmith classic “Dream On,” dedicating the performance to Cornell.
U2-“Running to Stand Still”
Irish rockers U2 dedicated “Running to Stand Still,” to Cornell, sending prayers to him and his family, calling him “a gentle and sweet soul.”
Bush-“Black Hole Sun”
90’s contemporaries Bush honored Cornell by performing a brief refrain of “Black Hole Sun” before resuming their “The One I Love.”
Corey Taylor-“Hunger Strike”
Corey Taylor already honored Cornell once while at a show with his band Stone Sour, but it wasn’t enough for the metal singer as he did a solo cover of Temple of the Dog’s “Hunger Strike.”
The Pretty Reckless -“Like A Stone”
Taylor Momsen fought to contain her tears as she powered through the Audioslave classic “Like A Stone.
The Cult -“Sound & Fury”
The Cult debuted their new song “Sound & Fury” and dedicated it to their fallen fellow rocker. Vocalist Billy Duffy addressed the crowd during the band’s encore to explain the song’s dedication.
Robert Trujillo/Metallica -“Black Hole Sun” bass solo
Easily the most creative tribute to Cornell comes from legendary metal band Metallica – specifically bassist Robert Trujillo. He cranked out a wah-pedal affected bass solo, recreating the 90s alternative megahit with just one instrument.
Dream Theater -“Black Hole Sun”
The most embarrassing tribute is care of Dream Theater, when the prog-band’s lead singer James LaBrie forgot the words to “Black Hole Sun.” He handled it like a pro, filling in lines like “I forgot the fucking words” to keep his place. It’s still a great cover by a masterful band.
Cage the Elephant and Incubus -“Black Hole Sun”
The alternative stars of yesteryear teamed up with modern rock’s future when Incubus and Cage the Elephant performed together in tribute to Cornell. Matt Shultz of Cage the Elephant sung along with Incubus on “Black Hole Sun” at the KROQ Weenie Fest.