Chris Cornell, lead singer for grunge legends Soundgarden, died at the age of 52.
Cornell died the night of May 17 in Detroit, his representative Brian Bumbery said in a statement. The singer’s death, the statement read, was “sudden and unexpected.” His family, New York Times reported, would be “working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause.”
Soundgarden was playing a show at the Fox Theater the night of Cornell’s death, and there were social media posts about the event just hours before he was found.
Authorities, Mirror reported, suspected suicide as a cause of death, though no official conclusion has been reached. Several reports stated that Cornell’s wife, Vicky, called a family friend to have them check on her husband after the performance. His door was forced open, leading the friend to find his lifeless body.
Cornell’s career began in Seattle, Washington, as the singer in Soundgarden, known for hits like “Black Hole Sun” and “Fell on Black Days.”
After the breakup of Rage Against the Machine in 2001 when singer Zack de la Rocha left the group, Cornell teamed up with the remaining members to form Audiosoave – a group that went on to record three albums and have several hits before parting ways in 2007.
Cornell had a history of addiction problems, and finally got sober in 2003.
“I actually like rehab a lot. It’s like school; it’s interesting. I’m learning that I can be teachable at age 38,” he said that year, Guardian reported.
“I would sometimes drink before we played. It wasn’t a big deal. It became a bigger deal when I stopped doing the other things I liked to do. I used to ride mountain bikes around with my friends, and we’d keep 40-ouncers where the water bottle was supposed to be. But once I removed the mountain and the bike, there was just the drinking.”
Sources: New York Times, Guardian, Mirror / Photo credit: Ivo Kendra/Wikimedia Commons