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Chris Cornell
Chris CornellPhotography Josh Jensen, via Flickr

Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell has died

The grunge icon passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in Detroit aged 52

Chris Cornell, lead singer of Soundgarden and Audioslave, has died aged 52. The singer’s representative Brian Bumbery confirmed the news to the Associated Press, describing the death as “sudden and unexpected”, The Guardian report.

According to Bumbery’s statement, the grunge icon passed away in Detroit on Wednesday (May 17). His family will work closesly with the medical examiner to determine the cause of death and have asked for privacy at this time.

Soundgarden emerged from Seattle’s alternative rock scene in the 1980s and would become one of the most recognisable band’s of the grunge movement. In 1988 they signed to A&M, becoming the first grunge band to join a major label. Soundgarden broke up in 1997, with Cornell forming Audioslave in its wake, but the band reformed in 2010. Cornell also released a series of solo records and was a member of the supergroup Temple of the Dog.

Just a few hours before the news of his death broke, Cornell was performing with Soundgarden at Detroit’s Fox Theatre, pictures of which can be seen on Twitter. 

Update, 10:00am BST: A US coroner has said that Chris Cornell died by suicide, the Associated Press report.

Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 (UK) and 116 123 (ROI). The US National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255.