Published May 18, 2017 01:14pm

Rock legend Chris Cornell passes away at 52

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.

With his powerful, nearly four-octave vocal range, Cornell was one of the leading voices of the 1990s grunge movement with Soundgarden, which emerged as one of the biggest bands out of Seattle's emerging music scene, joining the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains.

Formed in 1984 by Cornell, guitarist Kim Thayil and bassist Hiro Yamamoto, Soundgarden's third studio album, Badmotorfinger, in 1991 spawned enormously popular singles 'Jesus Christ Pose', ''Rusty Cage' and 'Outshined' that received regular play on alternative rock radio stations.

Cornell also collaborated with members of what would become Pearl Jam to form Temple of the Dog, which produced a self-titled album in 1991 in tribute to friend Andrew Wood, former frontman for Mother Love Bone.

Three years later, Soundgarden broke through on mainstream radio with the album Superunknown, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Record in 1995. It included hit singles 'Spoonman', ''Fell on Black Days', 'Black Hole Sun', 'My Wave' and 'The Day I Tried to Live'.

Soundgarden disbanded in 1997 due to tensions in the band, and Cornell pursued a solo career. In 2001, he joined Audioslave, a supergroup that included former Rage Against the Machine members Tom Morello, Brad Wilk and Tim Commerford. The band released three albums in six years and also performed at a concert billed as Cuba's first outdoor rock concert by an American band, though some Cuban artists have disputed that claim.

Audioslave disbanded in 2007, but Cornell and Soundgarden reunited in 2012 and released the band's sixth studio album, King Animal in 2012.

In addition to his music, Cornell also became involved in philanthropy and started the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation to support children facing challenges, including homelessness, poverty, abuse and neglect.

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Pakibassist May 18, 2017 01:42pm

I grew up on Audioslave's music. This is tragic news. Rest in Peace Legend !

Zain May 18, 2017 01:49pm

On my deathbed I will pray To the gods and the angels Like a pagan to anyone Who will take me to heaven

RIP Chris Cornell, rock legend!

JS May 18, 2017 02:05pm

just 'like a stone'...... im in office and pretty shocked to hear about his death... one of my favs..!

bossman May 18, 2017 02:21pm

"To be yourself is all that you can do" Goodbye!

Imran Adeel May 18, 2017 03:12pm

Really bad news... he was a great and gifted vocalist.

Johnpauljones May 18, 2017 04:23pm

This is so sad. I am a great fan and admirer of his skill. A true rocker with absolute power house vocals. Who can ever forget his songs Like a stone ,Blackhole sun,You know my name (james bond track) May Lord bless his soul.

Theaamirofsandeigo May 19, 2017 04:44am

Very sad RIP Chris Cornell.

Syed Ahmed May 19, 2017 05:50am

Rip