Update 5:25 p.m.
The death of Audioslave and Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell has been ruled a suicide.
An autopsy was carried out on the 52-year-old by the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office, who ruled his death to have been a suicide by hanging,
The Detroit Free Press reports that Cornell was found unresponsive on the bathroom floor with a band around his neck in his hotel room at the MGM Grand Detroit, shortly after ending a show in the city.
He was found after his wife asked a family friend to check on him.
Suicide is a serious issue in the U.S. Anyone who is in a tough place and needs help can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255.
You can also find help in Minnesota by checking out the state’s Suicide Prevention Resource Center website.
Original story below.
Chris Cornell is dead.
One of the icons of ’90s grunge, Cornell’s unmistakable voice was a staple in rock music – from headliners Soundgarden and Audioslave, to his own solo career and side projects such as Temple of the Dog.
He died in Detroit, following a Wednesday night Soundgarden performance, Rolling Stone reports. He was 52 years old.
— Chris Cornell (@chriscornell) May 18, 2017
A spokesperson in a statement said Cornell’s death was a shock to his family and wife, Vicky, calling it “unexpected and sudden,” CNN reports. They’ll be working with a medical examiner to figure out the cause, and thanked fans for their support, but also asked for some privacy right now.
Cornell was born in Seattle in 1964. Twenty years later, after a stint in a cover band, he formed Soundgarden; their first studio album, titled Ultramega OK, was released in 1988 and earned the band a Grammy nomination. The band would put out four more albums in the ’90s – Louder than Love, Badmotorfinger, Superunknown and Down on the Upside – before splitting up. The band reunited for its sixth album, King Animal, in 2012.
They won Grammys for “Black Hole Sun” and “Spoonman” in 1995, and were nominated for three more.
In 2001, Cornell joined forces with Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk to form Audioslave, which immediately struck a chord with tracks like “Cochise” and “Like a Stone.” Audioslave would ultimately release three albums, garnering three Grammy nominations.
— RageAgainsTheMachine (@RATM) May 18, 2017
Cornell had struggles with substance abuse.
In 1994, he told Rolling Stone he and his friends were selling or using drugs as early as 12 years old; he himself was using consistently at 13, before quitting at 14, he explained.
But in 2009, he told the Guardian when Soundgarden found success he began using “everything,” including the synthetic opiate OxyContin. In 2004 he officially divorced his wife, and wound up in rehab around the same time.
He said he had been sober since then.
“The thing is, when you pick up the pipe for the first time, you don’t know that that’s your fate,” Cornell told Details in 2012, via Loudwire. “The moment isn’t that dramatic. And then that was it – I didn’t want to care anymore.”