Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell died Wednesday night in Detroit hours after the band played a set at the legendary Fox Theatre. 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.
The New York Times reports Dontae Freeman, a spokesman for the Detroit Police Department, said in an interview that officers went to the MGM Grand hotel and casino around midnight in response to a call about an apparent suicide of a white man, whom he did not identify. Mr. Freeman said the man’s date of birth was July 20, 1964, which is Cornell’s.
He added that the man’s wife had called a family friend to check on the man; the friend forced his way into the man’s room at the casino and found him unresponsive on the bathroom floor with a band around his neck. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Cornell was best known for fronting, Soundgarden and Audioslave, bands and singing ‘You Know My Name,’ the theme song for James Bond film Casino Royale. Soundgarden had gigs throughout the weekend, including a scheduled performance at Pointfest in St. Louis.
Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Cornell was one of the chief architects of the grunge movement, forming Soundgarden alongside guitarist Kim Thyail and bassist Hiro Yamamoto in 1984.
Soundgarden were famously the first grunge band to sign to a major label, A&M in 1988, paving the way for the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains to break out.