Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Chris Cornell, lead singer of Soundgarden and Audioslave, dead at age 52


The medical examiner determined Cornell committed suicide.

The spokesperson described the death as a "apparent suicide", but wouldn't confirm that pending an autopsy and coroner's report. "There is no additional information at this time".

Soundgarden paved the way for a wave of iconic grunge/rock bands including Nirvana, Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam. Cornell provided vocals on Alice in Chains song Right Turn and sang with Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder on Hunger Strike, a song by another popular band he played in, Temple of the Dog.

"In some ways, they (Soundgarden) were the last band in Seattle to become famous in the grunge era but they were the ones who worked the hardest and the longest", Cross said. "At customs I think they know who I am; I think they know I'm not a 22-year-old jihadist from OH".

Cornell was roommates with Andrew Wood, lead singer of the Mother Love Bone, who died of a heroin overdose in 1990. 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.

The band, which had released hit songs and found success, marked a mainstream breakthrough with "Superunknown", its 1994 album that won them two Grammys, sold more than five million units in the USA, and launched five hits, including "Black Hole Sun", one of the most popular alternative rock songs from the 1990s.

In interviews, Cornell discussed his past struggles with alcohol and the impact of his friends' deaths from substance abuse. Soundgarden, which includes guitarist Kim Thayil, bassist Ben Shepherd and drummer Matt Cameron, disbanded in 1997, but reunited in 2010.

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In 2001, Cornell joined with three former members of Rage Against the Machine to form Audioslave.

"Chris Cornell's lyrics + voice have loomed large for me since '94".

Cornell also released five solo albums during his time with Soundgarden including "Euphoria Morning". 'That is the line we are proceeding along'. There's no just kind of flat lining coasting. "And on this drive I remember making a promise to myself that no matter what happened in terms of success, I was going to be one of those guys playing music until he drops dead".

The music industry mourned his sudden death online.

"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", the statement read. "A great singer, songwriter and the loveliest man".

KEXP will have a tribute and moment of silence for Cornell outside its studios at 5 p.m. Thursday.

Rocker Dave Navarro mourned the loss of Cornell, tweeting: "Such a awful and sad loss!"

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