Obits — May 18, 2017 at 7:19 am

Chris Cornell, Soundgarden’s lead screamer and grunge-era icon, 1964-2017

Chris Cornell, whose unmistakable multi-octave singing voice branded Seattle’s Soundgarden as one of the true grunge-era standouts, died last night in Detroit following a concert there by the reunited band, the Associated Press reported. He was 52.

Detroit police told the news service that Cornell’s death at the MGM Grand Detroit Hotel is being investigated as a possible suicide based on “basic things observed at the scene.” Cornell was found on the bathroom floor of his hotel room after his wife called a family friend to check on him, the AP reported.

Brian Bumbrey, Cornell’s representative, told the AP that Cornell’s death was “sudden and unexpected,” and his family has asked for privacy as the medical examiner works to determine the cause of death.

Soundgarden, which reunited in 2010, was about a dozen dates into is spring tour. The band was next scheduled to play at Rock on the Range in Columbus, Ohio, on Friday night.

Cornell co-founded Soundgarden in 1984, and the band would go on to sign to Seattle’s Sub Pop Records, helping usher in the so-called grunge sound with thick, riff-heavy guitar rock.

The band released its debut, Ultramega OK, in 1988, and started its commercial breakthrough with 1991’s Badmotorfinger on A&M Records. Soundgarden exploded in popularity with 1994’s Superunknown, which generated a string of hit singles, none bigger than “Black Hole Sun.”

Following another album, 1996’s Down on the Upside, the band broke up. During the years away from Soundgarden, Cornell released solo material, and also fronted Audioslave with the non-Zack de la Rocha members of Rage Against the Machine.

He also played, earlier in his career, in Temple of the Dog, which also recently reunited, and wrote and performed music for, and acted in, Cameron Crowe’s 1992 film “Singles.” An expanded version of that film’s soundtrack, with unreleased music from Cornell, will be released Friday.

Below, check out some of the reaction to news of Cornell’s death.








  1. The greatest modern day rock vocalist…such sad news.

  2. Horrible news.

    Also, he was basically the ONLY ’90s artist I found worthwhile.


  3. Very sad — you’d have to put him amongst the top few rock vocalists of all time. Charisma in spades, and his voice was astonishing.

  4. steinomite

    One day off from the 37th anniversary of Ian Curtis’ suicide. Though it was technically already 18 May in Britain at the time of Cornell’s death.

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