Although he insisted he was not part of any religion, Cornell has indicated signs of him being a believer on numerous occasions, including in his music.

Chris Cornell, vocalist for Soundgarden and Audioslave, was found dead May 17 on the bathroom floor of his hotel room in Detroit. The police have declared the 52-year old’s death as a suicide case, possibly by hanging as is evidenced by the band that was found around his neck. His wife, however, finds it hard to accept that he could have killed himself because she revealed having found no signs of depression or suicidal tendencies when she spoke to him over the phone the night of his death. Fans who were present at his concert for which he had gone to Detroit also said that he seemed his usual cheerful self during his performance as well.

One of the may things about Cornell that will always remain a secret is his religious beliefs. From his songs, it appeared to many that he was a believer. However, in his interviews, he constantly reiterated that he was not part of any religious community and that he did not even believe in one. He has also been heard to call out blessings like “God bless you” during his concerts, implying his belief in a Higher Power. He was never open about which system of spirituality he practiced.

Cornell came from a family with mixed religious beliefs. His father was a Catholic and his mother was Jewish. However, it is clear that he was not an adherent of either religion. He married Vick Karayiannis, a practicing Greek Orthodox. The marriage would have required him to get baptized into the faith, but his desire to stay out of organized religion was obvious to his last day.

The Soundgarden singer revealed that he always has had a questioning nature- a trait that caused him to be removed or expelled from multiple schools, including a Catholic school. Talking about his school life he once said, “If somebody tells you this is this and that’s the way things are and shut up, you’re a kid.” He called himself a free thinker, but unlike others did not insist that religion was bad. He said that religion was the cause for a lot of good happening in society, just as it had caused a lot of violence. 

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