Chris Cornell, who gained fame as the lead singer Soundgarden and later Audioslave, has died at age 52. Cornell was on tour when he died last night in Detroit.
A family spokesperson called the death “sudden and unexpected” and said his wife and family were shocked by it. The statement said the family would be working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause and asked for privacy.
Cornell was one of the leading voices of the 1990s grunge movement with Soundgarden, which emerged as one of the biggest bands out of Seattle’s emerging music scene.
Cornell also collaborated with members of what would become Pearl Jam to form Temple of the Dog, which produced a self-titled album in 1991 in tribute to friend Andrew Wood, former frontman for Mother Love Bone.
Soundgarden disbanded in 1997 due to tensions in the band, and Cornell pursued a solo career. In 2001, he joined Audioslave, a band that included former Rage Against the Machine members Tom Morello, Brad Wilk and Tim Commerford. Audioslave disbanded in 2007, but Cornell and Soundgarden reunited in 2012 and released the band’s sixth studio album, “King Animal” in 2012.
In addition to his music, Cornell also became involved in philanthropy and started the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation to support children facing challenges, including homelessness, poverty, abuse and neglect.
A report this afternoon from the Associated Press states that the Medical Examiner in Detroit has determined that Soungarden singer Chris Cornell killed himself by hanging in a hotel room following a concert last night. The full autopsy report had not been completed as of this afternoon.