It comes with regret to share the news that Chris Cornell, best known for being the frontman for both Soundgarden and Audioslave, has tragically passed away at the age of 52.
In a statement to the Associated Press, his representative, Brian Bumbery, said that Cornell died on Wednesday night (May 17th 2017) at the MGM Grand in Detroit following a show at the Fox Theatre with Soundgarden.
Bumbery called the death both “sudden and unexpected”, and said that his wife and family were shocked. The statement said the family would be working closely with a medical examiner to determine the cause and asked for privacy.
According to a report by local news WXYZ (here), Detroit police have said that Cornell died from an apparent suicide. It is being reported that Cornell‘s wife called a family friend and asked him to check on his well-being. The friend forced open the hotel room door and found him on the bathroom floor.
Following further investigation from a medical examiner, Detroit police have revealed that Cornell‘s cause of death was “suicide by hanging”. He was pronounced dead on the scene.
Throughout his life, Cornell was said to have suffered from severe depression and also battled addiction to drugs and alcohol, once stating he was a “daily drug user at 13”. He has gone to rehab but had unfortunately relapsed over the years, according to TMZ.
Soundgarden | 5.17.17 pic.twitter.com/uBC6rSXWg6
— Fox Theatre Detroit (@FoxTheatreDet) May 18, 2017
Cornell first rose to fame with the Seattle outfit Soundgarden, who formed back in 1984, and were one of the seminal bands in the rise of the grunge rock movement in the early 90s alongside both Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Some of their most acclaimed songs include ‘Spoonman’, ‘Rusty Cage’, ‘Black Hole Sun’, and ‘Jesus Christ Pose’.
The band initially released five albums before splitting up in 1997. They would later reform in 2010 to release their latest full-length record ‘King Animal’ in 2012.
In 2001, Cornell went on to form the rock supergroup Audioslave, which was also composed by three members of the then defunct Californian troupe, Rage Against The Machine. Together the band released three records, the latest being ‘Revelations’ back in 2006, and created hits that included ‘Cochise’, ‘Doesn’t Remind Me’, ‘Show Me How To Live’, and ‘Be Yourself’.
Despite parting ways not long after releasing ‘Revelations’, the band reformed earlier this year and performed their first show together in over ten years at Prophets Of Rage‘s Anti-Inaugural Ball on January 20th 2017. The show acted as a protest against then unelected US President Donald Trump, and a “celebration of resistance” as a whole, with a portion of ticket proceeds benefitting the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.
Cornell was also a part of the supergroup Temple Of The Dog, conceived by him back in 1990 as a tribute to his friend Andrew Wood of Mother Love Bone, and included ex-members of Mother Love Bone along with members of Pearl Jam. The band was short lived, releasing a self-titled album in 1991. After splitting in 1992 they reunited once more for a 25th anniversary of the record in 2016.
The singer/songwriter also had a fruitful solo career, having released four full-length records, the final one being ‘Higher Power’ in 2015. Despite several successful singles throughout his 15-year long solo career, arguably his biggest track came in the form of ‘You Know My Name’, most notably due to the fact that it featured on and became the theme song to the 2006 James Bond film, Casino Royale.
Away from music, Cornell was also involved with other projects and work. He owns and operates a bistro, Black Calavados, in Paris, and is also the owner of the music publishing company, You Make Me Sick I Make Music.
Most recently, in 2012 he created the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation; a foundation that develops projects and programs working with leading charitable organisations and partners to raise awareness and support for children facing hardships including homelessness, poverty, abuse, and/or neglect.
More news surrounding Cornell‘s untimely and tragic death will be confirmed as it develops.
We here at DEAD PRESS! offer our deepest condolences and sympathies to Cornell‘s family, friends, and loved ones at this incredibly difficult time.