Chris Cornell, one of the essential architects of Seattle’s grunge movement, was born on this day, July 20, in 1964. Known mainly as the founder of Soundgarden, his multi-tiered vocal range and his explosive singing style have established him as one of the greatest lead vocalists of all time. Few singers have been able to create distinctive atmospheres as deeply as Cornell does with his incomparable songwriting and singing style. Much of his work is somber in tone, echoing a lifelong battle with depression and its resultant loneliness, but retains a curious vibrancy perhaps reflecting the influence of his childhood love affair with the music of The Beatles. Cornell has also established himself in more recent years as an influential solo musician. Armed with just an acoustic guitar, he inspires tremendous energy and emotion while never relinquishing the superb quality of his compositions. Happy birthday Chris Cornell.