Chris Cornell is found dead

Chris Cornell
Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell: the singer was interviewed here on Songwriting in September 2015. Photo: Jeff Lipsky

The 52-year-old singer and songwriter of Soundgarden and Audioslave died as a result of hanging himself, US officials have confirmed

Chris Cornell, the rock singer, songwriter and frontman, has been found dead at the age of 52. In a statement to The Associated Press, Cornell’s publicist Brian Bumbery said he had died on Wednesday night at the MGM Grand Detroit hotel and called the death “sudden and unexpected”. On Thursday, the Wayne county medical examiner’s office confirmed that the frontman’s demise was a suicide by hanging, but a full autopsy report had not yet been completed.

Initially starting as the drummer, Cornell became known as the firebrand vocalist behind Seattle band Soundgarden. Soundgarden became pioneers of the early 90s grunge movement, with their second album Badmotorfinger taking them to platinum status before they released their magnum opus Superunknown in 1994. Released to huge fanfare, Superunknown reached No 1 on the US Billboard 200 record chart and No 4 on the UK Albums Chart and has since been recognised as one of the finest albums of its era. Soundgarden then released Down On The Upside in 1996, before breaking up a year later.

In 1999 Cornell released his first solo album Euphoria Morning. Adopting a lighter tone than much of his work with Soundgarden, the record saw Cornell cement his reputation as one of the finest songwriters of his generation. Two years later he formed Audioslave with former Rage Against The Machine members Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk. Cornell went on to record three albums with Audioslave, departing after their 2006 LP Revelations.

It was in this year that he would open his solo work up to a new audience, recording You Know My Name with David Arnold, which was used as the theme song to the James Bond film Casino Royale. You Know My Name saw Cornell nominated for a Grammy Award and featured on his second solo album, 2007’s Carry On. Cornell released his third solo album Scream in 2009 and the live album Songbook in 2011, before the reformed Soundgarden returned with their sixth studio album King Animal in 2012.

Songwriting spoke to Chris Cornell as he released his fourth studio album Higher Truth in 2015:

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