Chris Cornell in 2007. Photo by Max Vadukul/Interscope

Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell Dead at the Age of 52

The singer was found unresponsive in a hotel room following a Wednesday night concert.

News came early this morning that Chris Cornell, lead singer of Soundgarden and son of Seattle, has died. He was 52 years old.

The New York Times reports that police were called to the MGM Grand in Detroit around midnight where they found the singer unresponsive in his hotel room. The cause has been ruled a suicide by the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Cornell was, of course, one of the leading figures in the Seattle music movement of the late-’80s and early-’90s. With him front-and-center, often shirtless, Soundgarden became the first true success story in what later came to be known as grunge.

Following a Sub Pop single, the band released its debut album with storied underground label SST in 1988 and soon-after signed with major label A&M. Its next album charted on the Billboard 200. The band would release four more albums, including 1994’s Superunknown, a collection of songs that took over modern rock radio and topped the Billboard albums chart on the strength of the band’s dramatic songcraft and Cornell’s inimitable voice. The band broke up in 1998.

Cornell went on to front Audioslave and released a handful of solo albums before reuniting with Soundgarden in 2010. He played his final show, with the band, at the Fox Theater in Detroit on Wednesday night.

KEXP will be paying tribute to the late singer with a memorial at 5 p.m. at the station’s Gathering Space (472 1st Ave. N). Tomorrow the station will devote 12 hours of programming, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., to the singer.

mbaumgarten@seattleweekly.com

More in Music

Wimps isn’t trash. Photo by Kelly O
Wimps’ Renewable Punk Energy

The Seattle trio isn’t afraid to get dirty on its new album, ‘Garbage People.’

Can Upstream Fest Be Fixed?

In it’s current form, the Pioneer Square music festival lacks energy and identity. (Plus, a photo recap of last weekend’s action.)

The sun shines on Sasquatch!.
Sasquatch! Music Festival 2018 Photo Recap

From big bands to casual hangs, we take a look back at all the action over Memorial Day weekend at The Gorge.

Curtis Harding
The Faces of Sasquatch! Music Festival 2018

Behind-the-scenes portraits with the some the fest’s best acts.

David Byrne
The Attention-Grabbers of Sasquatch! Music Festival 2018

A look back on the weekend’s musical festivities in terms of captivation.

Vince Staples returns to Sasquatch! Festival this year. Photo by Seth Sommerfeld
Sasquatch! Festival 2018 Preview

Plan your trip to The Gorge with our picks for the weekend’s can’t-miss acts.

How Pedro the Lion’s Religious Roots Set the Stage for a Relevant Return

Two decades before #MeToo, a young David Bazan was singing about the problems with patriarchy.

Forging the Cultural Future of Northwest Folklife Festival

New Folklife managing director Reese Tanimura chats about the present and future of the annual Seattle Center celebration.

The 5 Must-See Local Acts of the Summer

Don’t miss these rising Seattle artists during festival season.

Seattle Summer Outdoor Concert Guide

Our picks for the essential open air music experiences of the season.

Album Premiere: Ruler’s ‘Winning Star Champion’

Seattle music scene utility player Matt Batey steps into the spotlight with his new indie rock album for Barsuk Records.

Death Cab for Cutie To Play Free Concert for Paramount Theatre’s 90th Anniversary

Tickets for the June 23 show will be awarded via Ticketmaster’s random lottery.