Cornell performed his final concert alongside Soundgarden in Detroit on Wednesday night.
Chris Cornell, the iconic rock vocalist who rose to notoriety fronting Soundgarden and Audioslave, has died Wednesday night in Detroit at the age of 52. The New York Times was the first outlet to break the news, which was confirmed by the band’s representative, Brian Bumbery.
According to Bumbery, Cornell’s death “sudden and unexpected” and that the singer’s family would be “working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause.”
Local 4 in Detroit is reporting that police who responded to the scene believe suicide may be a cause of death. Sources tell the outlet Cornell’s wife called a family friend and asked him to check on the singer. That friend forced open the hotel room door where Cornell was found dead in the bathroom with something around his neck.
Cornell and the member of Soundgarden performed at the Fox Theater in Detroit on Wednesday night as part of a string of shows leading the group to a scheduled performance at Rock on the Range music festival in Columbus, Ohio this weekend. You can view fan shot footage of Cornell performing the band’s hit “Black Hole Sun” at last night’s show below:
The rock community is in shock this morning. Cornell has been a fierce presence in the industry since Soundgarden emerged from the early days of grunge and took the world by storm. Records such as Superunknown are often considered by many to among the most important albums released throughout the 1990s. Cornell’s work with Audioslave is not always viewed as having made as big an impact, but it was loved by fans around the world.
This story is still very much developing. We expect additional information will be made available in the days and weeks ahead. In the meantime, head over to NYT to read their in-depth look at Cornell’s life and work. You should also spend time with one of the many records he helped create during his time on this planet. There will never be another voice or talent like Chris Cornell, but at least we have recordings of his powerful presence to share with future generations.
Rest in peace.