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Death of “Soundgarden” singer Chris Cornell was suicide

DETROIT, Mich. — Chris Cornell, lead singer of Soundgarden and Audioslave, died Wednesday night.

A coroner ruled the death suicide by hanging.

Cornell, 52, was in Detroit performing with Soundgarden, which had embarked on a US tour in April.

Brian Bumbery, his representative, called Cornell’s passing “sudden and unexpected” in a statement to CNN.

“His wife Vicky and family were shocked to learn of his sudden and unexpected passing, and they will be working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause,” the statement read. “They would like to thank his fans for their continuous love and loyalty and ask that their privacy be respected at this time.”

The Grammy-winning rocker had performed Wednesday night at the Fox Theatre in Detroit.

Cornell began his career in the Seattle rock scene forming the band Soundgarden in 1984, which was influential in the 1990s grunge movement. The group disbanded in 1997 and released a greatest hits compilation the same year.

In 2001, Cornell joined with three former members of Rage Against the Machine to form Audioslave. Their most successful single, “Like a Stone” released in 2003.

Cornell also sang the theme song to the James Bond movie “Casino Royale.”

Soundgarden came back on stage in 2010 for festival performances and had recently started touring again. The band tweeted Wednesday night a quote from Cornell: “What I look forward to the most…is the camaraderie. It’s what we missed when we weren’t a band.”

Rocker Dave Navarro mourned the loss of Cornell, tweeting: “Such a terrible and sad loss! Thinking of his family tonight! RIP.”