Whether he was leading popular acts such as Audioslave or Soundgarden or on a stage with just a microphone and a guitar, Chris Cornell emanated the notion that he was doing exactly what he was born to do.

A lot of musicians crumble without the backing of a band or the muscle of a studio on their tracks — but Cornell could dazzle with a solo live performance as well as he could with a giant rock concert.

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He died far too soon, at age 52 on Thursday, but his music will forever be a testament to his passion and his abilities as an artist.

Here’s a look at his five best live performances that will surely wow both longtime fans and those seeing him for the first time.

“Nothing Compares to You.” Cornell had an ability to take a song you’d never expect a good rock cover to come from — and make it something special and unforgettable. Originally sung by Sinead O’Conner, “Nothing Compares to You” was a slow song about heartbreak very few rockers would have been caught listening to closely. Cornell’s love of music spread across all genres, however, and he had a way to twist anything to his own style. In this session with SiriusXM, he showed the true power of his cover.

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