Chris Cornell is undeniably one of the greatest vocalists in rock. His ability to convey dynamic shades of emotion through a powerful, God-given singing voice was unrivaled. Many singers have a great voice, but Cornell's emotional pull is special. 

Chris Cornell - vocalist in Soundgarden, Audioslave and Temple of the Dog - passed away Wednesday (May 17) at the age of 52. He performed an energetic show at The Fox Theatre in Detroit hours before his death.

Cornell's passing was “sudden and unexpected,” according to statement issued by his publicist. A cause of death has yet to be given.

Chris Cornell

Cornell and Soundgarden were pioneering in the late '80s/early '90s grunge scene in Seattle. Along with bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains, music fans embraced Soundgarden as a beloved force in grunge music. But Cornell's influence went beyond grunge. His solo work delved into all genres, proving Cornell a multi-dimensional talent.

I had the honor of recently interviewing Cornell when he was releasing his latest solo album, Higher Truth. "I really believe that the ultimate, highest experience is to be in the moment, aware of everything that’s going on around you and supporting that moment..." Cornell told me in the Gibson.com interview. 

"Adulthood and growing up and living in this world is pretty much all corrupting that," he added. "That’s the process of filling your life up with all kinds of concerns and preoccupations and distractions that don’t mean anything and that are hollow and don’t actually give you anything back. If there was ever an age where our days are filled with that, it’s now..."

Higher Truth was an acoustic album. The stripped-down sound worked to highlight his unique vocal character.

"I felt like writing an album that’s written to be acoustic songs first and highlighting the vocals and the lyrics just by the nature of the arrangements of the songs, that it better sound good, but I didn’t want it too slick-good, because anyone can do that now with a computer," he said in our interview. "It needs to be emotional; it needs to be raw."

Tributes are pouring out from musicians shocked and seemingly paralyzed by the news of Cornell's death.

"A shining voice in music has left us in the midnight," Perry Farrell said on Twitter. "He was a complex and gentle soul #ChrisCornell has flown into the black hole sun."

"Shocked & saddened by the news of Chris Cornell's passing," Slash posted on Twitter. "RIP."

"This is shocking and terribly sad news," Rush posted on social media. "Chris Cornell was not only an amazing musician but also a generous spirit that will be sorely missed."

"Shocked and saddened by the sudden death of @ChrisCornell," Elton John said on Twitter. "A great singer, songwriter and the loveliest man."

"Shocking news Chris Cornell passing last night in Detroit," Peter Frampton tweeted. "Brilliant artist on so many levels. I am in shock. My condolences to his family."

"Very sad news about Chris Cornell today," Joe Perry posted on social media. "A sad loss of a great talent to the world, his friends and family. Rest In Peace."

Music will never be the same.