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Soundgarden-headlined Pointfest cancelled

The 35th edition of Pointfest – the St Louis, Missouri, music festival which was to have been headlined by Soundgarden – was cancelled at the last minute on Friday following the sudden passing of Chris Cornell.

The festival, organised by St Louis radio station 105.7 The Point, was scheduled for Saturday 20 May at the 20,000-cap. Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre. Joining Cornell’s Soundgarden on the bill were Stone Sour, Biffy Clyro, The Dillinger Escape Plan and Pierce the Veil.

In a statement, the station extended its “deepest sympathies to the members of Soundgarden, their crew, management and the Cornell family” and announced refunds would be given automatically to all ticketholders.

Soundgarden were touring North America when Cornell (pictured) died suddenly after a show in Detroit last Wednesday.

The grunge pioneers were also due to play Ohio festival Rock on the Range, which instead aired a video tribute to Cornell:

The cause of Cornell’s sudden death, initially uncertain, has since been revealed as suicide – although his widow, Vicky, believes it to have been accidental, possibly from an overdose of the benzodiazepine drug lorazepam (Ativan).

In a statement, she says: “Chris’s death is a loss that escapes words and has created an emptiness in my heart that will never be filled. As everyone who knew him commented, Chris was a devoted father and husband. He was my best friend.

“His world revolved around his family first and, of course, his music second. He flew home for Mother’s Day [14 May] to spend time with our family. He flew out midday Wednesday, the day of the show [in Detroit], after spending time with the children. When we spoke before the show, we discussed plans for a vacation over Memorial Day and other things we wanted to do.” […]

“When we spoke after the show, I noticed he was slurring his words; he was different. When he told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two, I contacted security and asked that they check on him. What happened is inexplicable and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details. I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life.”

Soundgarden have cancelled the remainder of the tour.


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Music biz pays tribute to Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell, the multi-octaved grunge pioneer who won frame fronting Soundgarden and later Audioslave, has died aged 52.

Cornell, who had been touring North America with Soundgarden, passed away last night after a show at the Fox Theatre (5,174-cap.) in Detroit.

In a statement to the Associated Press, the singer’s publicist, Brian Bumbery calls the death “sudden and unexpected” and says Cornell’s wife and family are in shock. He adds that the family would be “working closely with the medical examiner” to determine the cause.

With his gritty, nearly four-octave vocal range and songwriting that centred on unconventional, non-diatonic chord sequences, Cornell’s Soundgarden helped define the ’90s grunge sound along with bands such as Nirvana, the Melvins, Alice and Chains and Pearl Jam.

Following the 1997 dissolution of Soundgarden – who by then had scored two №1 albums with 1994’s Superunknown and 1996’s Down on the Upside – Cornell formed Audioslave, a supergroup also comprising Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, Brad Wilk and Tim Commerford.

He later reformed Soundgarden after a successful solo career, the commercial highlight of which was top-five hit ‘You Know My Name’, the theme song to 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale.

Networking Music’s Ruud Berends, who with Paperclip Agency booked Soundgarden’s first European shows, expresses his “shock and surprise” at Cornell’s passing. “He was only 52… nobody was expecting it,” he comments.

“I can’t even begin to explain how much I’m going to miss his music”

Devraj Sanyal, the managing director of Universal Music Group in South Asia, says he “can’t even begin to explain how much I’m [going to] miss his music. I’m shattered and I’m heartbroken.”

Neil Portnow, the president and CEO of Grammys organiser The Recording Academy, says: “Chris’s extraordinary talent will forever live on and inspire fellow musicians and fans worldwide. We have lost an innovative member of our creative community, and our sincerest condolences go out to Chris’s family, friends, collaborators and all who have been impacted by his outstanding artistry.”

Several venues and festivals have also paid tribute to Cornell on social media. The Royal Albert Hall calls his debut solo show at the venue “one of our stand-out nights of 2016”, while AEG’s BST Hyde Park says Cornell “truly had one of the finest voices in rock and he will be deeply missed”. Live Nation Belgium’s Rock Werchter, meanwhile, expresses its sadness that “an amazing voice, musician, man is gone”.

As have several musicians: Jane Addiction’s Dave Navarro calls Cornell’s passing a “terrible and sad loss”, while Jimmy Page describes the late singer as an “incredible talent, incredibly young [and] incredibly missed”. Billy Idol says he was “sad to hear of Chris Cornell’s passing”, calling him a “great singer and artist”.


This article will be updated with comments from more industry figures as we receive them.


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