Chris Cornell (1964 - 2017)

Obituary
  • "Was so very saddened to hear of the loss of Chris Cornell. ..."
    - Debbie Rust
  • "A beautiful soul that will be so missed. RIP Chris. God..."
    - Dana Pastores
  • "God hears our hearts even if there are no words to speak"
    - Julianne Martin
  • "Thank you for your music, you had a talent like no other. ..."
    - Helen Borges
  • "R.I.P. Chris and thank you for everything your music has..."
    - Dan Fisher

Chris Cornell (Total Guitar Magazine / Contributor / Getty)
Chris Cornell, the lead singer for the Seattle grunge group Soundgarden and later Audioslave whose keening vocals helped vault the former band into the stratosphere during the 1980s and 1990s, died Wednesday, May 17, 2017, in Detroit. He was 52.

The Associated Press reported Thursday that a medical examiner cited suicide as the cause of death. Cornell was in the Motor City performing with Soundgarden, which had embarked on a U.S. tour in April. Brian Bumbery, Cornell's representative, called Cornell's death "sudden and unexpected" in a statement to the AP and CNN.

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Cornell was Soundgarden's principal songwriter and one of the architects of the 1990s grunge rock movement.

Soundgarden was formed in 1984 by Cornell, guitarist Kim Thayil, and bassist Hiro Yamamoto. Cornell originally played the drums. Scott Sundquist was enlisted a year later to play drums so that Cornell could focus on vocals; subsequently, Matt Cameron became the permanent drummer.

Soundgarden achieved its biggest success with the 1994 album "Superunknown," which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard chart. The album featured the Grammy Award-winning singles "Black Hole Sun" and "Spoonman.

Tributes were paid to Cornell on social media.

"Shocked and saddened by the sudden death of @chriscornell. A great singer, songwriter and the loveliest man." - Elton John, via Twitter

"I AM SO SADDENED BY CHRIS CORNELL PASSING. @soundgarden TOTAL SHOCK.GREAT MAN.GREAT BAND.GREAT LOSS. LOVE TO EVERYONE IN HIS WORLD. XXX" - Bush rocker Gavin Rossdale, via Twitter

"RIP Chris Cornell. Incredibly Talented. Incredibly Young. Incredibly Missed" - Jimmy Page, via Twitter

"Chris Cornell was a genius. Too much talent in one man. I have countless memories listening to his music growing up. Devastating. RIP" - actor Chris Evans, via Twitter

In 2012, Cornell and his wife, Vicky, who survives him, created a foundation bearing their names to help children who face difficult challenges including homeless, poverty, and abuse or neglect.

NOTE: If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide, he or she should not be left alone. Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. The Lifeline provides free, confidential support for people in crisis or emotional distress, 24/7 year-round. The Lifeline also offers an online chat for people who prefer to reach out online rather than by phone.

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