Chris Cornell, leading voice for Soundgarden and Seattle grunge, dies in suicide

Chris Cornell, the Seattle native who gained fame as the lead singer of the bands Soundgarden and later Audioslave, has died at age 52 after performing in Detroit. The medical examiner’s office determined it was suicide.

Chris Cornell, the powerful, dynamic singer whose Seattle band Soundgarden was one of the architects of grunge music, died Wednesday night in Detroit. He was 52.

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office said the death was a suicide by hanging. It said a full autopsy had not yet been completed.

Cornell’s representative, Brian Bumbery, said in a statement that the death was “sudden and unexpected.”

Dontae Freeman, a spokesman for the Detroit Police Department, said in an interview that officers responded around midnight at the MGM Grand casino to an apparent suicide of a white man, born July 20, 1964, who was pronounced dead on the scene. He would not confirm the victim’s name; Cornell’s date of birth is July 20, 1964.

Freeman said that the victim’s wife had called a family friend to check on the man; the family friend forced his way into the man’s room at the casino and found him unresponsive on the bathroom floor.

The victim was found with a band around his neck, Freeman said.

Warning signs of suicide

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or have concerns about someone else who may be, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

You will be routed to a local crisis center where professionals can talk you through a risk assessment and provide resources in your community.

The more of the signs below that a person shows, the greater the risk of suicide.

  • Talking about wanting to die
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs

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