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Soundgarden Frontman Chris Cornell Hung Himself, Medical Examiner Confirms

Chris Cornell
Buda Mendes, Getty Images

Chris Cornell‘s death has been ruled a suicide, less than a day after the 52-year-old’s body was found in a MGM Grand Detroit hotel bathroom. A local medical examiner confirms, via the Associated Press, that Soundgarden‘s frontman died by hanging.

The circumstances leading up to this tragedy remain unclear. Cornell had performed with Soundgarden just hours before at the Fox Theatre, and even discussed “the next place we play” during the concert. He released a new solo single last March. Soundgarden had also confirmed work on a follow-up album to King Animal, their 2012 reunion project.

A Detroit police media relations officer raised the possibility that Cornell had taken his own life earlier today. “Based on our observations at the scene, we are investigating it as a possible suicide,” Michael Woody told the Detroit Free Press. “We’re not saying specifically why.” Cornell reportedly had a belt around his neck.

Soundgarden pre-dated their fellow pioneering grunge bands, having started back in 1984 – well before Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains. Along the way, Cornell also released a string of solo albums, and was a member of Audioslave and Temple of the Dog. He was joined in Audioslave by members of Rage Against the Machine.

Cornell married the former Vicky Karayiannis in 2004; they had a daughter together in 2004 and then a son in 2005. The couple later co-founded a foundation to support homeless, abused and impoverished children. Cornell’s first wife was Susan Silver; their only child was born in 2000. His final on-stage song was a 13-minute performance of Soundgarden’s “Slaves and Bulldozers.”

Next: Soundgarden Albums Ranked in Order of Awesomeness

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