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Soundgarden Singer Chris Cornell Committed Suicide by Hanging

Variety logo Variety 5/18/2017 Maane Khatchatourian
© Provided by Variety

Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell’s death has been ruled a suicide by hanging, the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office announced in a statement on Thursday.

“The Medical Examiner has completed the autopsy on 52-year-old Chris Cornell, the Soundgarden musician who died last night in Detroit,” reads the statement on the medical examiner’s Facebook page. “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 Soundgarden and Audioslave singer was found dead in his hotel room on Wednesday night in Detroit. The rocker was 52.

Earlier on Thursday, a representative for the Detroit Police Department told Variety that the death was being investigated as a suicide. It was too early then to make a definitive conclusion.

“At 12 a.m. [local time], we received a 911 call from the MGM Grand Casino Hotel,” the Detroit Police Department’s director of media relations told Variety. “It appears as though a family friend was checking up on Cornell at his wife’s request. He went to the hotel and discovered him unresponsive on the bathroom floor. Police made the location with EMS, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.”

Cornell performed with Soundgarden just hours before his death at Detroit’s Fox Theatre on Wednesday night.

A rep for the singer confirmed the death in a statement early Thursday morning.

“Chris Cornell passed away late Wednesday night in Detroit, MI,” the statement reads. “His wife Vicky and family were shocked to learn of his sudden and unexpected passing, and they will be working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause. They would like to thank his fans for their continuous love and loyalty, and ask that their privacy be respected at this time.”

Cornell, a key figure in Seattle’s ’90s grunge scene, founded Soundgarden in 1984 with guitarist Kim Thayil, drummer Matt Cameron, and bassist Hiro Yamamoto. The band won two Grammy Awards in 1995. Cornell performed solo after Soundgarden broke up two years later. He then joined Audioslave, which included former Rage Against the Machine members Tom Morello, Brad Wilk, and Tim Commerford. Soundgarden reunited in 2012.

In addition to his wife, Vicky Karayiannis, Cornell is also survived and three children: Lillian, Toni, and Christopher.

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