The suicide of musician Chris Cornell last week cast another shadow across the music world.

RELATED: A close friend of the late Chris Cornell says “something wasn’t right” during the singer’s final performance

If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide, take the following steps:

  • Don’t leave the person alone.
  • Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt
  • Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional

Ian Curtis

Thirty-seven years to the day before Cornell took his own life, British goth singer Ian Curtis killed himself the night before his band Joy Division was to start their first North American tour.  Rather than break up, the other members of Joy Division regrouped as New Order.

Kurt Cobain

After rocketing to stardom as the lead singer of Nirvana, Cobain found the spotlight to be too much, struggling with heroin addiction, health issues and depression. He reportedly killed himself at his home in 1994 at age 27, joining a group of musicians who died at that age, including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison.

Nick Drake

British acoustic musician Nick Drake suffered from major depression, which often bled through into his lyrics. On completion of his third album, he withdrew from both live performance and recording, retreating to his parents’ home. In 1974, Drake died from an overdose of antidepressants.


Michael Hutchence

The lead singer and lyricist of pop band INXS, Hutchence killed himself in 1997 in his native Sydney, Australia during the final leg of the band’s 20th anniversary tour. He had been struggling with relationship issues and being able to see his daughter.

Elliott Smith

Smith, a singer-songwriter who became well-known after his song “Miss Misery” on the “Good Will Hunting” soundtrack was nominated for an Oscar, died in 2003. He reportedly stabbed himself in the chest twice, although the autopsy report was inconclusive.

Wendy O. Williams

Williams, of the punk band The Plasmatics, was one of the most controversial performers of the 1980s, performing while wearing only electrical tape and chainsawing guitars. She attempted suicide three times, and died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 1998.


This 70s rock outfit lost Pete Ham and Tom Evans in the span of eight years, between 1975 and 1983, after the band lost most of their royalties due to a crooked manager. Ham died first with Evans following suit after a failed comeback attempt with a reformed Badfinger.

Ronnie Montrose

The driving force behind a thunderous 70s rock outfit that featured Sammy Hagar on vocals, Montrose shot himself in 2012. He reportedly was going through a second round of prostate cancer at the time, and also suffered from clinical depression.


Phil Ochs

One of the most famous folk singers of the ’60s, Ochs wrote hits such as “I Ain’t Marching Anymore,” “Crucifixion,” and “Draft Dodger Rag.” He struggled with alcoholism and was eventually diagnosed as bipolar. On April 9, 1976, Ochs hanged himself at his sister’s home in Far Rockaway, New York. In 2011, a documentary titled ‘There But For Fortune” was released about his life.


Brad Delp

The lead singer for arena-rock stalwarts Boston, he committed suicide in 2007, at age 55. He was found dead in his home from carbon monoxide poisoning after lighting two charcoal grills inside his sealed master bathroom.

Joshua Trudell About the author:
Joshua Trudell is a freelance writer, photographer and graphic designer living in New Hampshire. Follow Joshua on Twitter and Facebook and check out his website.
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