CC Color Jeff Lipsky headshot

Chris Cornell is 52 today! Dude probably has enough spoons by now, so forget the gifts and just enjoy these fun facts about the grunge master!


  1. Cornell was born “Christopher John Boyle” in Seattle.
  2. Following his parents’ divorce, he and his five siblings all changed their names to their mother’s maiden name, Cornell.
  3. After getting into drugs in his teens, Cornell’s mom pulled him out of school at 15 before he could get expelled.
  4. At 20, Cornell formed Soundgarden with Kim Thayil and Hiro Yamamoto. He played as their drummer and lead singer until Matt Cameron joined the band in 1987 to take over the drumkit.
  5. Following the death of Mother Love Bone frontman and room mate Andrew Wood, Cornell formed Temple of the Dog with Jeff Ament, Matt Cameron, Stone Gossard, Mike McCready and Eddie Vedder to pay tribute to his friend.
  6. When Soundgarden released the video for Jesus Christ Pose in 1991, the band received death threats and MTV refused to play it because of its controversy. But you can decide for yourself:

7. A lot of Cornell’s writing is inspired by real-life experiences, saying that his albums are snapshots of his life. “Say Hello 2 Heaven”‘s lyrics were inspired after the passing of Andrew Wood and “Wave Goodbye” was written for Jeff Buckley after he died.

8. Rolling Stone listed Cornell as #9 on their list of Best Lead Singers of All Time.

9. Outside music, Cornell owns a rock-themed restaurant in Paris called Black Calavados and a publishing company called You Make Me Sick I Make Music.

10. In 2006 Cornell wrote, produced and performed the theme for Casino Royale. “You Know My Name” became Cornell’s most successful solo song reaching number 79 on the Billboard 100 and 64 on the Billboard Pop 100.

Happy birthday, Chris! Never lose your ~Original Fire~.

Filed under: Audioslave, Chris Cornell, Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog