Tuesday 25 July 2017

Police confirm Chris Cornell's death is being investigated as possible suicide

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 20: Singer Chris Cornell performs at Prophets of Rage and Friends' Anti Inaugural Ball at the Taragram Ballroom on January 20, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 20: Singer Chris Cornell performs at Prophets of Rage and Friends' Anti Inaugural Ball at the Taragram Ballroom on January 20, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Chris Cornell performing with Soundgarden at the Hard Rock Calling festival in London in 2012

Nekesa Mumbi Moody

The death of rock star Chris Cornell is being investigated as a possible suicide, Detroit police have said.

Cornell, the lead singer of Soundgarden and Audioslave, died at the MGM Grand Detroit hotel, police spokesman Michael Woody said.

He said the 52-year-old's wife had called a family friend and asked him to check on the singer.

Mr Woody said the friend forced open a hotel room door and found Cornell on the bathroom floor.

Cornell was on tour and had performed on Wednesday night in Detroit with Soundgarden, one of the biggest bands of the grunge scene in the 1990s.

The Wayne County Medical Examiner's office will make an official determination about the singer's cause of death.

Cornell's representative Brian Bumbery said the death was "sudden and unexpected", and has left the star's wife, Vicky, and his family in shock.

He said the family would be working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause, and has asked for privacy.

News of Cornell's death prompted scores of tweets expressing sadness. Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry tweeted: "Very sad news about Chris Cornell today. A sad loss of a great talent to the world, his friends and family. Rest In Peace."

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, 1991's Badmotorfinger, spawned popular singles Jesus Christ Pose, Rusty Cage and Outshined.

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 his friend Andrew Wood, former frontman of Mother Love Bone.

Chris Cornell performing with Soundgarden at the Hard Rock Calling festival in London in 2012
Chris Cornell performing with Soundgarden at the Hard Rock Calling festival in London in 2012

Soundgarden broke through on mainstream radio with the 1994 album Superunknown, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Record in 1995.

It included the 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 within the band, and Cornell pursued a solo career. His biggest hit as a solo artist was You Know My Name, which featured in the title sequence of the 2006 Bond movie Casino Royale. It reached number seven in the UK singles chart.

In 2001, he joined Audioslave, a supergroup which 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 2010 and released the band's sixth studio album, King Animal, in 2012.

Cornell also released four solo studio albums and a solo live album. He released the single The Promise in March on iTunes, with all proceeds going to the International Rescue Committee, a global humanitarian aid, relief, and development non-governmental organization.

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.

For anyone affected by the issues raises in this article, contact Pieta House on 1800 247 247 or the Samaritans on 116 123

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