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Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell Passed Away Last Night at the Age of 52

First Layne Staley, then Scott Wieland, and now the AP shares the heartbreaking news that rocker Chris Cornell, who gained fame as the lead singer of the bands Soundgarden and later Audioslave, has died at age 52, according to his representative. Cornell died in Detroit, where he was on tour.

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.

Billboard, however, is reporting the devastating news that his death is being investigated by Detroit Police as a “possible suicide”.

An update this Thursday afternoon revealed the dreaded news that his death is being ruled a suicide by hanging. Two Detroit newspapers had earlier cited a police spokesman Cornell was found with “a band around his neck.”

Director Michael Woody of the Detroit Police Department’s media relations said on Thursday morning that officers received a 911 call at midnight from an unnamed person at the MGM Grand Casino in downtown Detroit requesting assistance.

When the units arrived they were met by a gentleman who indicated that Chris Cornell had been found in his room,” Woody said. “When officers went to the room they found Chris Cornell laying in his bathroom, unresponsive and he had passed away. We are investigating it as a possible suicide but we need to wait on the medical examiner to determine the cause and manner of death.

Detroit’s WXYZ reported that police said Cornell’s wife called a family friend and asked him to check on the singer’s well-being and when the friend forced opened the hotel room door he found Cornell on the bathroom floor.


Soundgarden is one of my heaviest musical influences next to bands like Stone Temple Pilots and Alice in Chains. One of my best friends of 30 years mad me a mix tape that included “Jesus Christ Pose,” ″Rusty Cage” and “Outshined” off of their 1991 Badmotorfinger.

In 1994 the band released Superunknown, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Record in 1995. It included hit singles “Spoonman,” ″Fell on Black Days,” ″Black Hole Sun,” ″My Wave” and “The Day I Tried to Live.” It was a transcendent album that has influenced modern rock in more ways than one.

Cornell also collaborated with members of what would become Pearl Jam to form Temple of the Dog, which produced a self-titled album in 1991 in tribute to friend Andrew Wood, former frontman for Mother Love Bone, adds the AP.

Soundgarden disbanded in 1997 due to tensions in the band, and Cornell pursued a solo career. In 2001, he joined Audioslave, a supergroup that included former Rage Against the Machine members Tom Morello, Brad Wilk and Tim Commerford. 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.

Audioslave disbanded in 2007, but Cornell and Soundgarden reunited in 2012 and released the band’s sixth studio album, King Animal in 2012, and had been working on a new album as of this writing.

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.

AP adds that, 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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COMMENTS

68 Comments
  • Alanmac

    Was never into his music but he was a talented individual with an amazing voice. Sad news to hear. RIP brother.

  • Bloodspatta

    Devastating news. My inner 17 year old is heartbroken

  • Charles Cumella

    Damn! That was very unexpected… We’ll always have the music though (especially the old Soundgarden stuff).

  • Buddy Repperton

    Hopefully he is not another drug casualty. As far as Layne Staley and Scott Weiland, it’s hard to feel sympathy for people who think good things will come from putting drugs like heroin in their bodies. I saw someone say the other day that addiction is a disease and the addict isn’t responsible for using. What a bleeding heart crock of shit. That’s like jumping in front of a speeding bus and then blaming the bus for killing you.

    • Ocelot006 .

      I don’t think the implication of disease is ‘well that means the individual isn’t responsible for it’.

      • Buddy Repperton

        When their exact words are “an individual isn’t responsible for their addiction, it’s the disease.”, I’d say that’s pretty direct It’s a weakling, crybaby mentality that refuses to acknowledge any accountability or blame for one’s own actions in turning to hard drugs in the first place.

        • Ocelot006 .

          Don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say that before.

    • Hank_Scorpio

      Well said, I couldn’t agree more.

  • Biscoito18

    Rest in peace, Chris.
    “Black Hole Sun” is still in my top 10 favorite songs of all times.

    • Saturn

      You know it’s weird that so many people love that song – I’ve been a fan of SG since Badmotorfinger was released and I’ve always thought Sun was one of their worst songs. Never liked it.

      • The Fucked Up

        It’s pretty much an anthem song, unlike most of their other material. That’s probably why so many people love it and hardly know any of their other songs.

  • Boglin Boy

    First time I ever heard about him or his band is from this article. odd.

    • The Fucked Up

      So I take it you’re not from around here; here being Earth

      • Boglin Boy

        don’t listen to your emo nickleback stuff, nor are American bands that popular in SA

        • The Fucked Up

          Don’t fucking get me started on Nickledick bub you get ouchies.
          Songs:
          Audioslave: Cochise
          Soundgarden: Black Hole Sun (follow that up with Asshole Son by Weird Al)

          • Boglin Boy

            Just listened to their songs, they do not ring a bell at all. I do not own a TV or radio, I listen to music on YouTube and I live in South Africa, so there is really no way I could know about them. The songs on radio here are techno, rnb and pop nothing heavy.

          • Saturn

            The songs that really started to get the band noticed were Loud Love and Jesus Christ Pose – Badmotorfinger (which includes JCP) is one of the greatest metal albums of the 1990’s – alongside Alice In Chains’ “Dirt”.

          • Joe Brick (TGOL)

            This guy only became somebody after death, nobody talked about him here prior to that. Tragedy indeed, talented not so much, one song doesn’t make you a rock star!

          • david

            He only become somebody after his death? What the hell are you talking about? Chris Cornell was considered one of the greatest rock singers of the last 30 years. Maybe you’re not aware of him because you were born in the 90’s? Or maybe it’s that you’re a Justin Bieber, or an Imagine Dragons fan?

          • Joe Brick (TGOL)

            Dude stop acting like a badass grandpa and get off your high horse.

          • The Fucked Up

            “Badass grandpa”… *tucks it into the weird insult bucket for later use.
            Thanks sonny

      • Boglin Boy

        give example of one of his most famous songs, i’ll listen to it on YT and tell you if I recognize it, I don’t listen to radio as I don’t like the trash that is on there, I only do if i’m forced to in Grocery store, so I am not so familiar with mainstream bands.

        • J Jett

          Boglin, try “Black Hole Sun”

      • Fracassi

        I guess he is just superunknown to some.

  • jv

    Being in a rock band my brother rock on in heaven!!!!

  • Hank_Scorpio

    Great voice, made whatever song he was in that much better. RIP.

  • The Fucked Up

    Well god damn it all to hell
    Fuck

  • Neckbeard The Terrible

    Just saw Soundgarden May 6th , weird that he’s gone

  • Saturn

    R.I.P.
    “Say hello to heaven”

  • Marcin Robakowski

    From all grunge survivors we only got Vedder left.. 🙁
    @disqus_5EtDe7viP9:disqus if u would look carefully at this article u would find 2 YT videos there my sweet innocent kid…

    • Boglin Boy

      more of a classical person, but I will see if i’ve heard them.

      update: I’ve absolutely never ever ever heard these.. I guess they are not popular in South Africa.

      • Marcin Robakowski

        lol ever heard of GRUNGE music genre? quite popular in 90s, kinda ended when courtney love pushed cobain to kill himself…im guessing u must be in your early 20s most…

        • Boglin Boy

          No sorry, that is that mid 90s early emo stuff before it came to be known as emo later on? not my style at all. I like classical.

    • zombie84_41

      ANd david grol

      • Saturn

        He’s referring to the vocalists from the golden age of grunges big 4.

        • zombie84_41

          Ah yeah so then just eddie

  • TheSlitheryDee

    RIP. The most legendary voice in music if you ask me.

  • lonestarr357

    He sang the shit out of “You Know My Name” from Casino Royale. Awesome song and performance.

  • SpaceManSpliffz .

    chris cornell killed himself. no sympathy from me over that, and especially no heartfelt rants about how broken up i am over the loss. soundgarden was great in their time, but audioslave was terrible and his solo stuff was mediocre at best. i also remember when he went solo, he became kind of a giant asshole but nobody will bring that up because that would be wrong, right? he was depressed and i wish he would have used some of that rock god money to get the treatment he needed, but instead he took the selfish way out and left his loved ones to pick up the pieces. fuck chris cornell for that

    • jv

      And you are a putz

    • J Jett

      you’re a dick.

    • zombie84_41

      This is pretty dick but also true. I don’t get why people take the easy way out, it leaves many people broken, many. There’s so much help. And I know its fuckin hard to fine the help you need, but still doesn’t give it a right to ever take your life. And for that reason alone thats what makes it sad.

      • Ocelot006 .

        ‘There’s so much help’ is much easier said than done. People always go ‘if you’re having thoughts of suicide, talk to someone’. The issue there is sometimes the one person that they want to talk to doesn’t want to talk to them. C’mon. We all live life here. It’s a fucking mess.

        • zombie84_41

          well there is professional help as well too. There is a lot of things.

      • Saturn

        The easy way out?
        Suicide is a last resort and is not an easy thing to do.
        Everybody has the right to take their own life – hopefully they never have to fall back on that though.

        • The Fucked Up

          It’s goddamn hard that’s what it is. Try Suicidal Tendencies’ “Suicidal Failure” for a taste of how hard :p

        • zombie84_41

          its just a very selfish thing to do, though. Theres just so much outlets and help. But its hard cus people don’t want to get the help or feel embarassed to get the help. Killing yourself shouldn’t ever be an option.

          • Saturn

            But sadly for many it is.
            The reality is that depression can totally destroy you from the inside.
            REAL depression that is, not just “having a few low days” – REAL depression can cripple you and sometimes no matter what the pain doesn’t go away.

            Suicide isn’t a selfish thing – it’s one of the hardest decisions one has to make due to religious dogma and the whole “think of others first!” thing.
            The only people you owe anything to is your own children.

            Hopefully if anyone else reading this and they are at such a low ebb – at least “try” and get help and remember what Black Sabbath’s Bill Ward once said “suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem…” and try and take every day as it comes – the sunshine always follows the rain. Unless it snows – and snow is AWESOME!

          • zombie84_41

            Believe me I know that, my mother suffers from very bad depression.

            And I lost my teacher when I was in 10th grade too.

    • Ocelot006 .

      Pretty sure rock god money isn’t the cure for depression.

      • Marcin Robakowski

        think its better to be filthy rich and depressed, there r thousands of common people suffering every day, still a great loss anyway… we now leave in a world where all great ones r leaving a we r left with stars like biebier or kardashians, im glad i’m 36 now and i still remember few of great ones when they were performing 🙂

        • Ocelot006 .

          In theory it’s better. But think it about. You have the world and you’re still not happy. I’d say it’s worse.

    • Saturn

      Yup – it’s selfish to put yourself out of your personal misery – much better to live for decades with depression with it hurting those close to you.
      Let’s hope you never fall on black days.

    • Creepshow

      I’m pretty sure in the past that you said you were deaf. Am I wrong?

  • J Jett

    this fucking sucks!! i’m shocked & heartbroken. Cornell was incredibly talented. my condolences to his family & friends.

  • zombie84_41

    I can’t believe this. We lost all our 90’s hereo’s. I hope Eddie and Dave stay around for a while a long long long while. Its sad because no matter how famous you are you always battle your inner demons. RIP CHRIS made you rock up with Morrsion, hendrix, joplin, and the many others.

  • ScriptGiverrrr

    Jesus Christ, this site’s commenters sticking to the dickhead mentality even in the event of someone’s death? Fucking vile.

  • Otterlee

    Heartbreaking.

  • American Atheist

    Depression is America’s dirty secret. Ignoring depression usually leads to suicide. Depression (like all mental illnesses) shouldn’t be stigmatized. Take a minute to reach out to the ones you know who hide in the shadows. A hug and a smile go a long way.

    Condolences to his family and loved ones. Thanks for sharing the gift of that phenomenal singing voice.

  • Flu-Like Symptoms

    Never was a huge fan, though Outshined has been a staple on the iPod for years. RIP.

  • DBZEROGRAVITY

    The news of his death was the first thing I saw this morning. Completely ruined the day. And then I found out that it was suicide late this afternoon… Music just lost one of the greatest RIP Chris

  • Meisha’s Taint

    So fuckin shitty

  • aFriendlyAgenda

    RIP

    He left behind some good songs

  • Noah B.

    So sad.When I read it I was like wtf.Soundgarden was one of my favorite bands in the early-mid 90’s along with Alice In Chains,Pearl Jam and STP.My favorite Sound garden song is Black Hole Sun R.I.P Chris Cornell.

  • LastingDose

    Somehow the first sentence of this article failed to mention Kurt Cobain… ? Cornell’s death is tragic. He and Layne were the greatest vocalists of my lifetime. Also great songwriters. A damned shame.

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