Departed

Chris Cornell, lead singer of Soundgarden, dead at 52 after hanging himself

Singer Chris Cornell, the lead vocalist for the bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, died Wednesday night in Detroit, his representative said. He was 52.

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A medical examiner has determined Cornell killed himself by hanging in a room at the MGM Grand hotel in following a concert.

A full autopsy report was not yet completed Thursday afternoon.

Two Detroit newspapers had earlier cited a police spokesman Cornell was found with "a band around his neck." 

A different Detroit Police spokesman, Michael Woody, told The Associated Press Thursday that he could not confirm that Cornell died with a band around his neck. He did confirm Cornell's wife called a family friend and asked him to check on Cornell. Woody says the friend forced open a hotel room door and found Cornell on the bathroom floor.

The singer's rep, Brian Bumbery, told Fox News that Cornell’s death was “sudden and unexpected” and said his wife and family are shocked.

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STARS WE'VE LOST IN 2017

Cornell was one of the leading voices of the 1990s grunge movement with Soundgarden. The band emerged as one of the biggest bands out of Seattle’s emerging music scene, joining the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains.

Formed in 1984 by Cornell, guitarist Kim Thayil and bassist Hiro Yamamoto, Soundgarden's third studio album, "Badmotorfinger," in 1991 spawned enormously popular singles "Jesus Christ Pose," ''Rusty Cage" and "Outshined" -- which received regular play on alternative rock radio stations.

Cornell also collaborated with some members of Pearl Jam to form the band Temple of the Dog, which produced a self-titled album in 1991 in tribute to friend Andrew Wood, the former frontman for Mother Love Bone.

Three years later, Soundgarden broke through on mainstream radio with the album "Superunknown," which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Record in 1995. It included hit singles "Spoonman," ''Fell on Black Days," ''Black Hole Sun," ''My Wave" and "The Day I Tried to Live."

Soundgarden disbanded in 1997 due to tensions in the band, and Cornell pursued a solo career. In 2001, he joined Audioslave, a supergroup that included former Rage Against the Machine members Tom Morello, Brad Wilk and Tim Commerford. The band released three albums in six years and also performed at a concert billed as Cuba's first outdoor rock concert by an American band, though some Cuban artists have disputed that claim.

Audioslave disbanded in 2007, but Cornell and Soundgarden reunited in 2012 and released the band's sixth studio album, "King Animal" in 2012.

In addition to his music, Cornell also became involved in philanthropy and started the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation to support children facing challenges, including homelessness, poverty, abuse and neglect.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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