“The fact that Chris had such a recognizable sound at such a young age and the ease in which he was able to project that range – we hadn’t seen anything like that and we haven’t seen anything like it since,” Navarro said. “And he was at the forefront of true musicianship in that era, backed up with depth.” Navarro pointed out that other prodigies at the time may have been technically skilled, but didn’t have as much depth. “And Chris was the one guy that made everybody lean back and go, ‘Oh my God, this guy is unbelievable, real deal, going down in the history books.”
The guitarist also relayed how they teamed up and provided inspiration for kids from treatment centers while Jane’s Addiction was on tour with Audioslave for Lollapalooza in 2003.
“Chris and I were both clean from drugs and alcohol and we invited kids from treatment centers at different spots in the country to hang out backstage and just show them you can do what we do and enjoy touring and the music without being loaded,” Navarro said. “That’s what makes this so very hard to wrap my head around. This is a guy who was involved in making the world a better place for people.” Read Navarro’s full piece in Billboard.
In the days following Cornell’s unexpected death, former bandmates, collaborators, friends, tourmates, peers and famous fans shared remembrances on social media. Dozens of artists – including Heart’s Ann Wilson, Ryan Adams and Living Color – have also paid tribute onstage to the Soundgarden singer.