The Evolution of a Grunge Icon: What Chris Cornell's Hair Tells Us About Him

From long to short and back again, the Soundgarden frontman's hair has been a focal point (and mirror to his soul?) for more than 20 years. Read the interview.

March 30, 2012

In 1990, Soundgarden was the first trailblazing Seattle grunge band to be signed to a major label (A&M Records), after receiving a Grammy Award nomination for Best Metal Performance. Fans flocked to lead singer Chris Cornell, with his introspective lyrics and killer vocal range. And yet, his hair—the embodiment of grunge style—often stole the media spotlight. A closer inspection suggests it has been a lens into his world and its many breakups, reunions, addictions, and career flip-flops. Herewith, a time line of the man and his mane and what it all means.

Soundgarden releases the multiplatinum Superunknown, and Cornell shocks fans by cutting his hair short, often wearing it slicked back. He is no longer quasi-grunge or metal; he is a mainstream incarnation of indie-alternative.

Credit: Corbis Images
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