Soundgarden was an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1984 by singer and drummer Chris Cornell, lead guitarist Kim Thayil (both of whom are the only members to appear in every incarnation of the band), and bassist Hiro Yamamoto; Cornell switched to rhythm guitar in 1985, replaced on drums initially by Scott Sundquist, and later by Matt Cameron in 1986. Yamamoto left in 1990 and was replaced initially by Jason Everman and shortly thereafter by Ben Shepherd. The band dissolved in 1997 and re-formed in 2010. Following Cornell's death in 2017 and a year of uncertainty regarding the band's future, Thayil declared in October 2018 that Soundgarden had disbanded once again, though they did reunite in January 2019 for a one-off concert in tribute to Cornell.The band helped to popularize grunge music, a style of alternative rock that developed in the American Pacific Northwest in the mid-1980s, alongside such Seattle contemporaries as Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Nirvana. They were the first of a number of grunge bands to sign to the Seattle-based record label Sub Pop, through which they released EPs in both 1987 and 1988. California-based independent label SST Records released Soundgarden's debut album, Ultramega OK, which, although it did not sell well nationally, garnered critical acclaim and was nominated for a Grammy award in 1990. Their second album, Louder Than Love, was recorded independently, but, after they signed with A&M Records in 1989 (making them one of the first grunge bands to sign to a major label), the album became their major-label debut. While Ultramega OK had failed to chart and Louder Than Love peaked at number 108 on the Billboard 200 album chart, the band's third album, Badmotorfinger, buoyed by the success of the singles "Jesus Christ Pose", "Outshined", and "Rusty Cage", reached number 39 on the Billboard 200 and has been certified double-platinum by the RIAA. Soundgarden achieved its biggest success with the 1994 album Superunknown, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and yielded the Grammy Award-winning singles "Spoonman" and "Black Hole Sun". The band experimented with new sonic textures on their follow-up album Down on the Upside, which debuted at number 2 on the Billboard 200 in 1996 and spawned several hit singles of its own, including "Burden in My Hand" and "Blow Up the Outside World". In 1997, the band broke up due to internal strife over its creative direction and exhaustion from touring. After more than a decade of working on projects and other bands, they reunited in 2010, and Republic Records released their sixth and final studio album, King Animal, two years later. As of 2019, Soundgarden had sold more than 14 million records in the United States, and an estimated 30 million worldwide. VH1 ranked Soundgarden at number 14 in their special 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.