Chris Cornell, Soundgarden and Audioslave Frontman, Dies at 52
Chris Cornell, the powerful, dynamic singer whose band Soundgarden was one of the architects of grunge music, has died at 52.
Mr. Cornell died Wednesday night in Detroit, his representative, Brian Bumbery, said in a statement that called the death “sudden and unexpected” and that said the singer’s family would be “working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause.”
Dontae Freeman, a spokesman for the Detroit Police Department, said in an interview that officers responded around midnight at the MGM Grand casino to an apparent suicide of a white man, born July 20, 1964, who was pronounced dead on the scene. He would not confirm the victim’s name; Mr. Cornell’s date of birth is July 20, 1964.
Mr. Freeman said that the victim’s wife had called a family friend to check on the man; the family friend forced his way into the man’s room at the casino and found him unresponsive on the bathroom floor.
The victim was found with a band around his neck, Mr. Freeman said. The police would not confirm that the victim died of a suicide, though the preliminary determination was an “apparent suicide,” Mr. Freeman said. He added that more details would be released in a statement later Thursday.
Mr. Cornell was born in 1964 in Seattle and helped form Soundgarden 20 years later. Sub Pop, then a fledgling record label, released the group’s first single, “Hunted Down,” in 1987, as well as two subsequent EPs. The group’s debut album, “Ultramega OK,” came a year later.
“Badmotorfinger,” released in 1991, benefited from the swell of attention that was beginning to surround the Seattle scene, where Soundgarden, along with Nirvana and Pearl Jam, were playing a high-octane, high-angst brand of rock ’n’ roll. Soundgarden’s musical journeys tended toward the knotty and dark, plunging into off-kilter meters and punctuated by Mr. Cornell’s voice, which could quickly shift from a soulful howl to a gritty growl.
Three of Soundgarden’s studio albums have been certified platinum, including “Superunknown,” from 1994, which featured “Black Hole Sun,” “Fell on Black Days,” “Spoonman” and “My Wave.”