courtesy ap news
(DETROIT) — Singer Chris Cornell’s cause of death has been ruled a “hanging by suicide,” according to a statement from the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office in Detroit.
“The cause of death has been determined as hanging by suicide,” the official statement reads. “A full autopsy report has not yet been completed. There is no additional information at this time.”
Cornell’s wife called a family friend to check on him Wednesday night, and the friend found Cornell unresponsive in his room at Detroit’s MGM Grand Hotel. A Detroit Police Department spokesperson told ABC News Radio Thursday morning that Cornell was found with what was described as a “band” around the neck in an “apparent suicide,” but wouldn’t confirm that at the time, pending an autopsy and coroner’s report.
Cornell, 52, was known for his work Soundgarden, Audioslave and Temple of the Dog, as well as his own solo career, died late Wednesday night following a Soundgarden show in Detroit. He’s survived by his wife, Vicky, and three children: daughters Toni and Lillian Jean, and son Christopher.
With his powerful, nearly four-octave vocal range, Cornell was one of the leading voices of the 1990s grunge movement with Soundgarden, which 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” that received regular play on alternative rock radio stations.
Cornell also collaborated with members of what would become Pearl Jam to form Temple of the Dog, which produced a self-titled album in 1991 in tribute to friend Andrew Wood, 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.