Chris Cornell (born Christopher John Boyle on July 20, 1964) is an American rock musician best known as the lead singer and songwriter for rock bands Soundgarden (1984–1997) and Audioslave (2001–2007). He was the founder and frontman for Temple of the Dog, the one-off tribute band dedicated to his former roommate, Andrew Wood, and he has released two solo albums, Euphoria Morning (1999) and Carry On (2007). His third solo album, Scream (2009) is set for release on February 3, 2009.
Cornell was born and raised in Seattle, Washington and attended Shorewood High School. His parents are Ed Boyle (a pharmacist from an Irish Catholic background) and Karen Cornell (an accountant from a Jewish background). He has two older brothers, Peter and Patrick, and three younger sisters, Katy, Suzy, and Maggie. Peter, Katy and Suzy formed the band Inflatable Soule, a moderately popular band in Seattle during the 1990s. Peter Cornell is now in the band Black Market Radio, which released their debut album entitled Better Than A Killer in 2006. Cornell and his siblings took his mother's maiden name after his parents divorced.
Cornell mentions on the Audioslave – Live in Cuba DVD documentary that he spent a two-year period between the ages of nine and eleven solidly listening to The Beatles after finding a large collection of Beatles records abandoned in the basement of a house. He then suffered from a severe case of clinical depression during his teenage years, rarely leaving the house. At one point, he spent a whole year of his life without leaving his house, during which time he would spend his time drinking and playing drums and guitar. Before becoming a successful musician, he worked at a seafood wholesaler and was a sous chef at a restaurant named Ray's Boathouse.
He is married to Vicky Karayiannis (Βίκυ Καραγιάννης, a Paris-based American publicist of Greek origin, and was previously married to Susan Silver, the manager of Alice in Chains and Soundgarden. He had a daughter with Silver, Lillian Jean, in June 2000. He and Silver divorced in 2004 and he married Vicky Karayiannis shortly afterwards. She gave birth to his second daughter, Toni, in September 2004, and their second and his third child, Christopher Nicholas, in December 2005.