Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple of the Dog & Cornell’s solo work surged in airplay on U.S. terrestrial radio following his May 17 death.
The news of Chris Cornell‘s death broke early Thursday morning, and radio was quick to honor the rocker with songs stretching across his sizable discography, from his work as the frontman of multiple bands to his solo efforts.
Across U.S. terrestrial radio stations Thursday, listeners could hear Cornell’s wailing, multi-octave voice via a variety of songs across multiple formats. Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple of the Dog — didn’t matter, radio played it.
Songs were led, far and away, by Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun,” considered one of the quintessential tracks in the band’s catalog (and the act’s first of six No. 1s on the Mainstream Rock Songs chart). The song was played 537 times on May 18, according to Nielsen Music.
Two other Soundgarden songs populate the top five most-played songs by Cornell on Thursday: “Fell on Black Days” (357 spins) and “Spoonman” (340). Like “Sun,” the tracks are from 1994’s Superunknown, Soundgarden’s lone No. 1 album on the Billboard 200.
The remainder of Cornell’s top 10 most-played songs May 18 includes a pair of Temple of the Dog tunes: “Hunger Strike” (No. 4; 314) and “Say Hello 2 Heaven” (No. 5; 302), as well as two Audioslave tracks, led by “Like a Stone” (No. 6; 301).
Cornell’s solo material was also revisited, including “Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart,” the lead single from 2015’s Higher Truth and a No. 2-peaking song on Mainstream Rock Songs (159 plays May 18). Also included: “Nothing Compares 2 U,” Cornell’s solo acoustic tribute to its writer, Prince, that Cornell recorded for SiriusXM in 2015 (144 plays). (The cover resurfaced following Prince’s April 2016 death, peaking at No. 34 on Mainstream Rock Songs.)
A full recap of Chris Cornell’s 10 most-played songs on U.S. radio on May 18:
1, “Black Hole Sun,” Soundgarden, 537 plays
2, “Fell on Black Days,”…