FILE PHOTO: Musician Chris Cornell poses at Elton John's 70th Birthday and 50-Year Songwriting Partnership with Bernie Taupin benefiting the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the UCLA Hammer Museum at RED Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles, California, March 25, 2017. (Reuters)
SOUNDGARDEN FRONTMAN Chris Cornell has died unexpectedly at 52, his publicist said on Thursday, and police in Detroit said they are treating the death as a possible suicide.
Seattle-born Cornell was found dead in the bathroom of his hotel in Detroit on Wednesday night, hours after the grunge band played a concert in the city.
"His wife Vicky and family were shocked to learn of his sudden and unexpected passing," Cornell's publicist Brian Bumbery said in a statement. He said the family would work closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause.
A Detroit police spokesman said a friend of the musician called officers to Cornell’s hotel around midnight.
"When officers went to the room they found Chris Cornell laying in his bathroom, unresponsive and he had passed away. We are investigating it as a possible suicide but we are waiting on the medical examiner to determine the cause and manner of death," said Detroit Police Department spokesman Dan Donakowski.
He declined to give further details.
Cornell, the lead singer of Soundgarden and later Audioslave, had tweeted earlier on Wednesday: "#Detroit finally back to Rock City !!!! @soundgarden."
“What I look forward to the most – because I tour so much, especially the last couple of years, by myself – is the camaraderie. It’s what we missed when we weren’t a band,” Cornell had posted on Facebook on Tuesday. The band had been in the middle of a US tour.
Soundgarden broke up in 1997 and Cornell in 2001 joined members of Rage Against The Machine to form Audioslave, which earned acclaim with its self-titled album.
Soundgarden reunited in 2010 and embarked on the current US tour in April.
Cornell also had an extensive solo career as a singer, guitarist, composer and lyricist and worked with various other musicians over three decades in the music business. (Reuters)