Rob, thank you for this wonderful piece.
My husband and I feel as though we’re grieving for the 3d (imaginary) person in our marriage. This is a poignant article, and helps put Cornell’s legacy in proper perspective. I also greatly appreciate you offering Chris Cornell his due. As for “Brian’s” comment, allow me to say this: As a lifetime fan of Zep (I’m 58), a person who owns every, single, thing ever made available to the public, Brian is dead wrong. While I adore Robert Plant, and agree that he’s probably among the top five rock vocalists in the history of rock music, Cornell’s voice is by far superior to Plant’s.
First, Cornell’s powerful voice retained its volume and tone until the day he died. Plant’s voice (like all singers except for Barbara Streisand and Steven Tyler) began to “age” in his mid-30s. Second, even at his peak, Plant’s voice never had the range, sheer power, or diversity of Chris Cornell’s. Chris’ voice, IMHO, was a beautiful freak of nature. He could scream in key, high and low, cause the earth to tremble, and effortlessly turn into a husky crooner, singing “Ava Maria.”
Finally, while Freddie Mercury’s voice was probably operatically superior, Chris’ sheer charisma and hard ROCK pipes, in my view, place him as #1 rock voice of all time.
RIP, Chris. May you rest forever in the beauty and delight you gave to all of us.