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Chris Cornell Was Fascinated With Paul Anka's Cover of "Black Hole Sun" (VIDEO)

As we look back on the life and career of Chris Cornell, tributes to the late-Soundgarden frontman will trickle out.

One version of Soundgarden's biggest hit, "Black Hole Sun," is liable to make a bit of a comeback. That's the one sung by legendary crooner and former 1950s/'60s teen idol Paul Anka.

Anka's "Black Hole Sun" was included on his 2005 album, Rock Swings, which included big band arrangements of rock songs, including Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and others.

Cornell was amused by Anka's version of "Black Hole Sun" and mentioned it in numerous interviews, in talking about the incredible reach of the song -- which he considered an unlikely hit to being with.

Cornell was asked often in interviews about the abstract lyrics of "Black Hole Sun," and he was open about the fact that even he, its primary writer, looked at the song as kind of a mystery.

"One of the more entertaining things for me since then is listening to Steve & Eydie Gormé do a version of it, having to sing those lyrics, or Paul Anka singing those lyrics," he told Nikki Sixx on Sixx Sense. "Like Paul Anka, when he's done it -- I've see live videos of him doing it -- and he's getting into it and he's selling it, like he's deep down in those lyrics.

"And I think, 'What is he thinking? What do these lyrics mean to him?' To me, I always just get this, sort of, overcast, somber feeling when I sing them, and it's some kind of a lament, lamenting something, a person maybe. But I'm not sure what."

You might think Anka's version was a joke, but it's hard to believe he'd hire a full orchestra to take the piss out of grunge. And then there's the fact that he absolutely sells the song.

While Cornell asks what Anka thinks the song means, we ask what does Anka's audience think it means?

If you're not familiar with Anka, he was known for songs like "My Way," "Puppy Love," "You're Having My Baby" and "Put Your Head on My Shoulder."

Be advised, watching his version of "Black Hole Sun" will lead you down a YouTube rabbit hole that gets very weird, very quickly.

Photo: Getty Images

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