Chris Cornell, lead singer of the seminal alternative rock bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, has died at 52, his representative, Bran Bumbery confirmed. An unresponsive Cornell was discovered in his MGM Grand Casino hotel room in downtown Detroit at midnight on Thursday, just hours after playing a sold out Soundgarden concert.
Though it’s still too early to determine the cause of death—which Bumbery called “sudden and unexpected”—police are investigating it as a possible suicide, Billboard is reporting. According to Dontae Freeman, a spokesman for the Detroit Police Department, Cornell was found with a band around his neck and was pronounced dead at the scene.
As the charismatic frontman of Soundgarden, Cornell was one of the founding fathers of the Seattle grunge movement that took the music world by storm in the late eighties and early nineties. Like Nirvana, Soundgarden started out signed to the legendary indie label Sub Pop, before making the leap to a major label.
Despite a loyal cult following, the band didn’t rise to prominence until 1994, when its fourth album, Superunknown, spawned the hit singles “Fell on Black Days,” “Spoonman” and, most notably “Black Hole Sun”. Soundgarden would go on to sell 10 million albums before calling it quits in 1997.
From there, Cornell went on to form the supergroup Audioslave with Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine, before reuniting with Soundgarden in 2010. He was also an accomplished solo artist, releasing five albums spanning the post-Soundgarden era, and in 2006 he recorded “You Know My Name,“ the theme song to Casino Royale.
Cornell was open about his struggles with addiction over the course of his life, but seemed upbeat on social media in the days leading up to his death. Cornell’s family has asked for privacy, while his peers flood social media with tributes to the late singer.
RIP Chris Cornell— Jimmy Page (@JimmyPage) May 18, 2017
Incredibly Missed. pic.twitter.com/pKNI4tKiXz
Chris Cornell. Damn. Was legit just playing "Outshined” yesterday. Such a loss.— St. Vincent (@st_vincent) May 18, 2017
Very sad news about Chris Cornell today. A sad loss of a great talent to the world, his friends and family. Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/BlgxE6cJLH— Joe Perry (@JoePerry) May 18, 2017
I AM SO SADDENED BY CHRIS CORNELL PASSING. @soundgarden— GAVIN ROSSDALE (@GavinRossdale) May 18, 2017
TOTAL SHOCK.GREAT MAN.GREAT BAND.GREAT LOSS. LOVE TO EVERYONE IN HIS WORLD. XXX
Sad 2 hear of Chris Cornell passing..great singer and artist… another blow…RIP— Billy Idol (@BillyIdol) May 18, 2017
Cornell leaves behind his wife Vicki, their two children, Toni and Christopher Nicholas, as well as a daughter from his previous marriage.