Chris Cornell, lead singer of Soundgarden and Audioslave, has died. Detroit police are investigating the death as a possible suicide, according to The Associated Press.
Cornell, 52, died on Wednesday night. His representative called Cornell’s passing "sudden and unexpected" in a statement to CNN.
The singer was in Detroit performing a sold-out show with Soundgarden, which is on a US tour, when he passed away. Police spokesman Michael Woody told The Associated Press on Thursday morning that he can’t provide details on what led investigators to investigate a possible suicide, but he did say there were “basic things observed at the scene.”
Woody said that Cornell died at the MGM Grand Detroit hotel. Cornell’s wife called a family friend and asked him to check on Cornell, according to the AP. Woody sid the friend forced open a hotel room door and found Cornell on the bathroom floor.
"His wife Vicky and family were shocked to learn of his sudden and unexpected passing, and they will be working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause," the statement from Cornell’s representative read. "They would like to thank his fans for their continuous love and loyalty and ask that their privacy be respected at this time."
Soundgarden formed in 1984, an influential band in the 1990s grunge movement. Rolling Stone described Cornell’s musical abilities: “Cornell's artistry was marked by his impressive multi-octave vocal range and a rare sensitivity for heavy music. With Soundgarden, he could shift between raging metal declarations ("Jesus Christ Pose"), somber mood pieces ("Fell on Black Days") and psychedelia ("Black Hole Sun") with ease.”
Cornell struggled with addiction at times in his life. In a 1994 Rolling Stone article, he described himself as a “daily drug user at 13,” who had quit by age 14. In 1997, Cornell became a heavy drug user, and told The Guardian in a 2009 interview, that he was a “pioneer” in the abuse of the opiate OxyContin. Had since gone to rehab.
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