May 18, 2017


Chris Cornell Dead at 52

Michael Kovac/WireImage
Michael Kovac/WireImage

Update (2:30PM): Chris Cornell's death has been ruled a suicide by hanging.

Original story (8AM): Chris Cornell, frontman of Soundgarden and Audioslave and a leader of the grunge movement, unexpectedly died in Detroit, Mich., late on Wednesday, May 18. The 52-year-old leaves behind his wife, Vicky, two daughters aged 16 and 12, and an 11-year-old son.

Cornell's representative Brian Bumbery released a statement to NPR on the death:

"Chris Cornell passed away late last night in Detroit, MI. 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. They would like to thank his fans for their continuous love and loyalty and ask that their privacy be respected at this time."

The singer was on tour when he passed and had played a Soundgarden show hours earlier. The Associated Press reports that police are investigating whether Cornell's death was a suicide.

Chris Cornell was born on July 20, 1964 in Seatle, Wash., and formed Soundgarden in 1984 with guitarist Kim Thayil and bassist Hiro Yamamoto. The band went on to be one of the biggest acts of the '90s grunge scene alongside Nirvana and Pearl Jam. When the group broke up in 1997, Cornell pursued a solo career and later, in 2001, joined Audioslave, where he released three albums before the "Like a Stone" band disbanded in 2007. Cornell and Soundgarden reunited in 2012 and released their Top 5 album King Animal.

Audioslave came together for their first show in 12 years at Prophet of Rage's Anti-Inaugural Ball, a protest against Donald Trump's election, in January. Meanwhile, Cornell spoke about writing new Soundgarden material just last year alongside his solo work.

Next, remember Cornell in a classic Fuse interview about making the transition from band work to solo music:

Then watch Fuse talk to Soundgarden and Cornell about reuniting and finding fun in touring again: