Chris Cornell, the singer for Seattle grunge rock band Soundgarden and later Audioslave, has died aged 52.
Chris Cornell has been found dead on Wednesday night in Detroit. His death was “sudden and unexpected,” according to Chris’ representative.
The rocker’s representative told Associated Press that a medical examiner will determine the cause of death.
Chris Cornell’s family have asked the public for privacy as they await the examiner’s results.
Cornell was best known as the vocalist and guitarist of Seattle grunge rock band Soundgarden, which achieved prominence during the 90’s. The band’s major hits include “Black Hole Sun,” “Fell on Black Days,” and “Spoonman” off their fourth studio album Superunknown.
Chris formed Soundgarden alongside guitarist Kim Thyail and bassist Hiro Yamamoto in 1984. In 1988, Chris Cornell’s Soundgarden signed with major label A&M and since then pioneered the Seattle grunge movement, paving the way for other Seattle acts including Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and Pearl Jam. Cornell worked with the latter to form super-band Temple of the Dog, releasing a self-titled album in April 1991. Soundgarden signed on with indie label Sub Pop before moving on with a major label.
Soundgarden sold more than 10 million albums in the U.S., and earned nine Grammy nominations, winning two of them. The band parted ways in 1997, but reformed in 2010. Their last album together was King Animal in 2012, but the band had been working on creating new songs in the past year.
“We’ve got a good start on it,” Cornell told Digital Spy. “I’ve spent the last week and a half working on it with them. We’re definitely off and running.”
After Soundgarden broke up, Chris Cornell launched a solo career spanning four studio albums. He released his first solo album, Euphoria Morning, in 1991. He would later on release follow-up solo albums, namely Carry On (2007), Scream (2009), and Higher Truth (2015).
In 2001, Cornell formed rock supergroup Audioslave alongside guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford, and drummer Brad Wilk, releasing a self-titled album in 2001. They released two more albums in 2005 and 2006.
Chris Cornell was also known for singing “You Know My Name,” the theme song for James Bond film Casino Royale.
Cornell was scheduled to perform at the US festival Rock the Range in Columbus tonight before he died.
Independent reports that Cornell performed with Soundgarden last night at Detroit’s Fox Theatre as part of the band’s North American tour. He reportedly died hours after the performance.
Chris Cornell had a history with drug and booze addiction, checking into rehab in 2003.
“I actually like rehab a lot. It’s like school; it’s interesting. I’m learning that I can be teachable at age 38,” Cornell told Spin magazine. “I would sometimes drink before we played. It wasn’t a big deal. It became a bigger deal when I stopped doing the other things I liked to do. I used to ride mountain bikes around with my friends, and we’d keep 40-ouncers where the water bottle was supposed to be. But once I removed the mountain and the bike, there was just the drinking.”
Chris Cornell, who had been sober since checking out of rehab, shared his perspective on his prior life of addiction in an interview with Tampa Bay.
“What ends up happening with musicians and actors is, they’re famous, so when somebody has an issue, it’s something that gets talked about,” he said. “People die of drug overdoses every day that nobody talks about. It’s a shame that famous people get all the focus, because it then gets glorified a little bit, like, ‘This person was too sensitive for the world,’ and, ‘A light twice as bright lives half as long,’ and all that. Which is all bulls—. It’s not true.”
[Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]