Death of Soundgarden Singer Chris Cornell Ruled a Suicide

The death of rock musician Chris Cornell, whose distinctive voice led the bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, has been ruled a suicide.

Medical authorities in Detroit say Cornell, 52, hung himself in his hotel room.

Cornell was found dead in his hotel room, hours after Soundgarden played Detroit’s Fox Theater as part of a North American tour that had been scheduled to continue Friday in Columbus, Ohio. 

Cornell’s publicist said “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.”

Soundgarden was a major force in the 1990s musical movement known as grunge along with groups such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam.  Its 1991 album “Batmotorfinger” spawned popular singles such as “Outshined,” and “Jesus Christ Pose.”  In 1994, the band released its breakthrough Grammy nominated album, “Superunknown,” which debuted at number one in the U.S.  It included songs such as “Spoonman,” “Fell on Black Days,” and “Black Hole Sun.”

In 1991, Cornell recorded an album with Temple of the Dog, a supergroup that included members of both Soundgarden and Pearl Jam.  

During a period in which Soundgarden had broken up, Cornell partnered with former members of another band, Rage Against the Machine, to form the successful group Audioslave.

Soundgarden reunited in 2010 and launched its current tour in April.  Cornell throughout his career released several solo albums as well.  

He and his wife, Vicky, also launched a foundation aimed at helping kids facing homelessness, poverty, abuse and neglect.

Cornell’s contemporaries reacted to his death with shock and surprise on Twitter early Thursday.

Dave Navarro, best known as a guitarist for Jane’s Addiction, said he was “stunned” by the news.

And Jimmy Page, guitarist for the legendary rock band Led Zeppelin, said of Cornell: “Incredibly talented.Incredibly young.Incredibly missed.” 

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