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Chris Cornell Dead: Country Artists Share Their Shock, His Influence

The music world lost an icon with the death of Chris Cornell on Wednesday night (May 17). The Soundgarden frontman was found in his hotel room dead after what appears to be a suicide after playing a concert with his band. While Cornell was a fixture in the rock world for more than three decades, his influence made its way into the country genre with recent collaborations with Zac Brown Band and an influence on many artists.

Cornell collaborated with ZBB on “Heavy Is the Head,” which was on the band’s 2015 album Jekyll + Hyde, even performing it live with them on Saturday Night Live. His music influenced the likes of many other country artists, as well. In fact, upon learning of his death, several country acts shared their prayers with his family and discussed his influence on them.

Zac Brown Band, Jake Owen, Jason Isbell, Brothers Osborne and Jason Aldean, among others, were shocked to learn the news, taking to Twitter to mourn, as celebrities often do.

“Chris Cornell touched so many & we were fortunate to have worked w/ him. He was a true talent & gentleman. Our thoughts are with his family,” Zac Brown Band write.

Owen, meanwhile, remembers that one of the first albums he bought in the ’90s was by Soundgarden. Isbell agrees, writing: “Me and teenage me are heartbroken.”

“The world has lost one of the greatest rock singers of all time. This one stings. RIP Chris Cornell,” Brothers Osborne state. Rascal Flatts‘ Joe Don Rooney, Jennifer Nettles, Dan + Shay‘s Dan Smyers and Randy Rogers also shared their shock at the unexpected news.

Click through the gallery above to read some of country’s biggest acts paying tribute to the late rock icon.

Next: Watch Zac Brown Band and Chris Cornell on 'SNL'

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