Why it matters to you
Chris Cornell and his Soundgarden bandmates played a huge role in establishing the grunge movement of the 1990s alongside bands like Pearl Jam and Nirvana.
Chris Cornell, the musician best known as the frontman of Soundgarden and Audioslave, has been found dead in a hotel room in Detroit at the age of 52. The discovery was made just hours after Cornell and Soundgarden played a sold-out concert at the city’s Fox Theatre. The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s office has since been ruled the rocker’s death a suicide by hanging.
Cornell was found in the bathroom of his hotel room, after his wife asked a family friend to go check up on him, according to a report from The Guardian. His representative, Brian Bumbery, described his passing as “sudden and unexpected” in a statement to press issued earlier today.
Soundgarden was one of the biggest grunge bands of the 1990s, and Cornell’s instantly recognizable vocals and impressive songwriting skills contributed a great deal to the band’s success. A few years after the group broke up in 1997, the singer hooked up with former members of Rage Against the Machine to form Audioslave. He also had a successful solo career, including one of his biggest chart successes, You Know My Name, which was written as the theme song for 2006’s Casino Royale.
In 2010, Soundgarden reformed, and would go on to tour extensively and record new material. The band was currently in the midst of a lengthy tour of the United States, which was set to wrap up before the end of the month. Shortly before the show, Cornell tweeted a photograph of the venue alongside the caption “finally back to Rock City!!!!”
Over the course of his career, Cornell had battled drug and alcohol addition, but in recent years was living a healthier lifestyle. He checked into rehab in 2003, and was reportedly sober from that point until the end of his life.
Cornell is survived by his wife Vicky Karayiannis, their daughter Toni, and their son Christopher, and his daughter Lillian from an earlier marriage to former Soundgarden manager Susan Silver.
Updated 5-18-2017 by Ryan Waniata: Updated with information from the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s office, which has ruled the musician’s death a suicide.