Thursday morning brought heartbreaking news for anyone into grunge music or rock in general: Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell has died at age 52, and for fans, the news has been shocking — especially since even Cornell's rep, Brian Bumbery, described his death as "unexpected." And now, Twitter is really concerned about Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, with users explaining that the world needs to protect him at all costs.
UPDATE: According to the Associated Press, the medical examiner has determined that Cornell committed suicide by hanging.
EARLIER: But why Vedder? Cornell's death is just the latest in a long line of grunge musicians who have passed away, many of them at relatively young ages. Kurt Cobain is a big one, having committed suicide in 1994 at age 27, and the list of grunge artists who preceded Cornell in death is a long one. So far, fans have pointed out that important members of the genre, like Andy Wood, Layne Staley, and Scott Weiland, are all dead now, and now that Cornell has joined them, it definitely has to stop here.
And so far, it seems like there's only one solution: Make sure Vedder doesn't meet the same fate before his time, and Twitter is not kidding around about it.
This is all very familiar to anyone who survived the onslaught of celebrity deaths of 2016, including legendary actors like Carrie Fisher and Gene Wilder, as well as musicians like George Michael and David Bowie. Back then, we were trying to protect Betty White; now, like one tweet pointed out, it seems like Vedder is officially taking White's place.
Fortunately, for now, it seems that 52-year-old Vedder is still alive and well, and hopefully, it stays that way. After a loss like Cornell's, it would be heartbreaking to lose another grunge icon... and I have a feeling Vedder himself would agree.
Obviously, Cornell's death doesn't have anything to do with Vedder's well-being, and these tweets shouldn't take away from the fact that a family is grieving the loss of their loved one and fans are grieving for an artist who made music they loved. It's a difficult time, and Cornell should remain the focus of that.
But still, it can't hurt to keep your fingers crossed that Vedder stays healthy and thriving. Who wouldn't appreciate a few positive thoughts being sent their way?