The Wayne County Medical Examiner has determined Cornell’s cause of death to be “hanging by suicide,” according to WXYZ in Detroit.
“The Medical Examiner has completed the autopsy on 52-year-old Chris Cornell, the Soundgarden musician who died last night in Detroit. The cause of death has been determined as hanging by suicide. A full autopsy report has not yet been completed. There is no additional information at this time.”
Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell has died at the age of 52. The rocker was found dead Wednesday night (May 17th) in Detroit. No cause of death has been revealed, but PopWrapped’s Zachary Jaydon reports that investigators have told him Cornell was “found dead in his hotel bathroom with ‘a device tied around his neck.'”
Further reports by Billboard indicate that Cornell took his own life.
“When the units arrived they were met by a gentleman who indicated that Chris Cornell had been found in his room,” Director Michael Woody of the Detroit Police Department’s media relations tells Billboard. “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 need to wait on the medical examiner to determine the cause and manner of death.”
The rocker’s representatives say the death is “sudden and unexpected” and his family would be “working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause.” Detroit TV station WXYZ reports that Cornell’s wife called a family friend and asked him to check on the singer following a performance. The friend forced open Cornell’s door at the MGM Grand Detroit and found Cornell on the bathroom floor where Cornell was pronounced dead at the scene, upon police arriving.
Cornell was on tour with Soundgarden at the time of his death. They had just played the Fox Theater in Detroit earlier that night and were set to play at Rock on the Range in Columbus, OH on Friday (May 19th). The group was also set to headline Pointfest in St. Louis on Saturday, May 20th. No word on what will happen to their headlining spot on either festival, but surely a tribute will occur throughout the night.
Cornell was active on social media, posting “
#Detroit finally back to Rock City!!!! @soundgarden #nomorebullshit” with an image of the Fox Theater marquee hours before his death on Twitter. A clip of Soundgarden’s “By Crooked Steps” was posted the same evening on Facebook along with the lyrics “I’m the shape of the hole/Inside your heart.”
The singer had also been promoting his own solo material as well. In March, Cornell released “The Promise,” a song he had written for the film The Promise starring Academy Award winning actor Christian Bale and Golden Globe winning actor Oscar Isaac. All proceeds were being donated to the International Rescue Committee, a global humanitarian aid, relief, and development non-governmental organization. Cornell had four studio albums and one solo live album.
He was also a member of the 1991 supergroup Temple of the Dog with Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Mike McCready, and drummer Matt Cameron. Last fall, the group celebrated its 25th anniversary with a reunion tour and anniversary reissue of their landmark self-titled album. Temple of the Dog found success with “Hunger Strike” and the massive “Say Hello 2 Heaven.”
Cornell has previously admitted to being a heavy drug user on and off throughout his life, but had gone to rehab in 2009.
Soundgarden signed with A&M Records in 1988, but it wasn’t until 1994’s Superunknown that the band became popular when Nirvana and Pearl Jam made the Seattle grunge scene popular. Some of their biggest hits include “Spoonman” and “Black Hole Sun.”
Cornell is survived by his wife and three children.
Stars’ social media accounts have blown up with their thoughts on his death.
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.