One of the most powerful singers of the grunge movement in the early 1990s, Chris Cornell's fiery vocals helped to make Soundgarden one of music's biggest success stories. His stage presence - long haired, bare chested and brooding - suggested a revival of the '70s and '80s "rock god" persona adopted by many hard rock and metal acts, but Cornell proved a more versatile and thoughtful performer and songwriter than his predecessors. In fact, he never quite meshed with Soundgarden's signature sound, a mix of punk volume and sludgy, Sabbath-style riffing, which eventually led to the group's dissolution in 1997. Cornell's initial solo effort found few takers, which spurred him to accept an offer to sing for Audioslave, a new group formed out of the ashes of Rage Against the Machine. The band generated three wildly popular records before Cornell left the act to return to his solo work, which gradually found an audience. In 2010, he surprised many by reuniting with Soundgarden, which had formed the bulk of his music efforts when not recording as a solo performer. Whether alone or fronting his famous grunge group, Chris Cornell remained one of the most formidable singers on the hard rock circuit.