Chris Cornell, 52, lead singer of Soundgarden and Audioslave, died Wednesday night of an apparent suicide after performing in Detroit.
A family friend called 911 around midnight Thursday after he went to check on Cornell and found the musician “unresponsive” on the bathroom floor at the MGM Grand hotel, Detoit police spokesman Michael Woody said. Cornell was pronounced dead at the scene.
Cornell was best known as the lead vocalist, primary songwriter and rhythm guitarist for Seattle rock band Soundgarden and as lead vocalist and songwriter for the group Audioslave. He was also known for his numerous solo works and soundtrack contributions since 1991, and as founder and frontman for Temple of the Dog, the one-off tribute band dedicated to his late friend Andrew Wood.
Cornell was known for his role as one of the architects of the 1990s grunge movement, for his extensive catalog as a songwriter and for his near four octave vocal range as well as his powerful vocal belting technique. He released four solo studio albums, Euphoria Morning (1999), Carry On (2007), Scream (2009), Higher Truth (2015) and the live album Songbook (2011). Cornell received a Golden Globe Award nomination for his song “The Keeper” which appeared in the film Machine Gun Preacher and co-wrote and performed the theme song to the James Bond film Casino Royale (2006), “You Know My Name”. He was voted “Rock’s Greatest Singer” by readers of Guitar World, ranked 4th in the list of “Heavy Metal’s All-Time Top 100 Vocalists” by Hit Parader, 9th in the list of “Best Lead Singers of All Time” by Rolling Stone, and 12th in MTV’s “22 Greatest Voices in Music”.