WASHINGTON – Authorities in Detroit, where American rock music icon Chris Cornell was found dead hours after a concert, said Thursday that the 52-year-old singer and guitarist who fronted bands such as Soundgarden and Audioslave took his own life.
“The cause of death has been determined as suicide by hanging. A full autopsy report has not yet been completed. There is no additional information at this time,” the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office said in a statement.
Cornell was found dead late Wednesday night following a performance at the Fox Theater Detroit.
Just hours earlier, Cornell took to Twitter to publish images of the venue showing a sold-out Soundgarden show advertisement, accompanied by the text “Detroit finally back to Rock City!!!”
News of his death prompted an outpouring of tributes from the music world.
“RIP Chris Cornell, Incredibly Talented, Incredibly Young, Incredibly Missed,” Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page tweeted.
Dave Navarro, founding member of Jane’s Addiction, wrote: “SO SO stunned to hear about Chris Cornell! Such a terrible and sad loss! Thinking of his family tonight! RIP.”
Cornell emerged onto the music scene in 1984, when he formed Soundgarden with Hiro Yamamoto and Kim Thayil.
Soundgarden, along with the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Jane’s Addiction, were a driving factor in bringing Seattle grunge rock into the American mainstream throughout the late 1980s and early ‘90s.
The group disbanded in 1997 but, after a short spell as a solo artist, Cornell returned in 2001 with three former members of Rage Against the Machine to create the post-grunge supergroup Audioslave.
In 2006, Cornell recorded “You Know My Name,” the Grammy-nominated title song for the James Bond feature “Casino Royale.”
Another short spell in solo music was followed by a Soundgarden reunion in 2010.
The group had been touring up until Cornell’s death.
He is survived by his wife and three children.