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, who had been on tour, died Wednesday night in Detroit, Brian Bumbery said in a statement to The Associated Press. 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.
As the lead singer for Seattle-based Soundgarden, Cornell helped architect the 90’s grunge rock movement. He was also a Grammy award-winning, Golden Globe nominated singer, songwriter, guitarist, composer and lyricist. In addition, Cornell became involved in philanthropy and started the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation to support children facing challenges, including homelessness, poverty, abuse and neglect.
The American singer was among the founders of the grunge moment in Seattle, where he formed Soundgarden.The band became a well known name with its Grammy Award-winning singles Black Hole Sun and Spoonman. Cornell had a four octave vocal range and continued to make music after Soundgarden broke up due to internal strife in 1997 but they came back together in 2010.
Later, in 1998, Cornell collaborated with Alain Johannes and Natasha Shneider of the band Eleven for a solo album. The album, titled Euphoria Morning, got released in 1999. Next to come up was the band Audioslave.