He was just 52 years old.
In interviews, Cornell discussed his past struggles with alcohol and the impact of his friends' deaths from substance abuse. "I was lucky enough to write and record two songs with him". Official information on Chris Cornell's cause of death will be released by the Wayne County (Michigan) Medical Examiner's Office once available, the report added.
Cornell's representative, Brian Bumbery, said in a statement that the singer's death was "sudden and unexpected". "Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and the entire rock community". Cornell, 52, was found dead in a bathroom with something around his neck.
"Chris seemed in really great spirits and everyone is in complete shock", a friend of the rocker and wife Vicky Karayiannis, who saw them recently, told PEOPLE. Such a awful and sad loss! Grunge was so new, and no one - not Nirvana, not Pearl Jam, not Mudhoney or Screaming Trees or Alice in Chains did it better than Soundgarden. Police say he died at the MGM Grand Detroit hotel and that his death is being investigated as a possible suicide. Black Hole Sun and Spoonman featured Chris Cornell's gritty growl of a voice that easily transitioned to a soulful howl.
Chris Cornell of Soundgarden performs on stage during the 2014 Lollapalooza Brazil at Autodromo de Interlagos in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Cornell also had a successful solo career, producing five albums, and worked on movie soundtracks.
In 2001, he joined Audioslave, a supergroup that included former Rage Against the Machine members Tom Morello, Brad Wilk and Tim Commerford.
Soundgarden reformed in 2010, releasing a new album the following year.
It's been a shock to the rock music system this Thursday as we process the sudden and untimely death of Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell. After splitting in 1997, they reunited in 2010 for their sixth studio album King Animal, with the band having sold more than 10.5 million records in the U.S. as of 2012 and winning two Grammy awards. His final decade marked a resurgence of creative energy, with Cornell reuniting Soundgarden and releasing a series of solo albums.
Cornell's wife, Vicky Cornell, reportedly became concerned when she could not reach him after the show. Soundgarden, which Cornell founded in 1984, was particularly important to this movement for being one of the first grunge rock bands to sign with a major label.
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