Soundgarden Rocker Chris Cornell Has Died

COURTESY: CBS NEWS

Last Updated May 18, 2017 8:14 AM EDT

Rocker Chris Cornell, who gained fame as the lead singer of the bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, has died at age 52, and police said Thursday that his death is being investigated as a possible suicide. 

Cornell, who had been on tour, died Wednesday night in Detroit, Brian Bumbery said in a statement to The Associated Press. Cornell had performed a Detroit concert with Soundgarden that night.

Bumbery called the death "sudden and unexpected" and said his wife and family were shocked by it. The statement said the family would be working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause and asked for privacy.

Detroit police spokesman Michael Woody told AP Thursday morning that he couldn't release details about why police are investigating the death as a possible suicide, but noted there were "basic things observed at the scene."

Cornell died at the MGM Grand Detroit hotel, Woody said. He said Cornell's wife had called a family friend and asked him to check on Cornell; the friend forced open a hotel room door and found Cornell on the bathroom floor. 

The Wayne County Medical Examiner's office will make an official determination about the cause of death.

News of Cornell's death prompted scores of tweets expressing sadness. Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry tweeted: "Very sad news about Chris Cornell today. A sad loss of a great talent to the world, his friends and family. Rest In Peace."

Cornell also released four solo studio albums and a solo live album. He also released the single "The Promise" in March on iTunes, with all proceeds going to the International Rescue Committee, a global humanitarian aid, relief, and development non-governmental organization.

Cornell appeared only last month on "CBS This Morning Saturday" and discussed, among other things, one of the areas where his talent took him -- writing songs for movies – such as co-writing "You Know My Name" in 2007 for the James Bond film "Casino Royale."

In addition to his music, Cornell also became involved in philanthropy and started the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation to support children facing challenges, including homelessness, poverty, abuse and neglect.


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