Picture Courtesy: Paul Lorkowski
Rocker Chris Cornell has died at the age of 52, according to the singer’s representative.
In a statement to The Associated Press, representative Brian Bumbery said Cornell passed away in Detroit on Wednesday night (US time).
He said the death was “sudden and unexpected” and had shocked Cornell’s wife and family.
The statement said Cornell’s family was working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause of death and had asked for privacy.
Cornell became a force behind the grunge movement in the 1990s, best known as the lead vocalist, songwriter and rhythm guitarist for band Soundgarden, founded in Seattle in 1984 alongside similar groups Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains.
Soundgarden broke through on mainstream radio in 1994 with the album Superunknown, which debuted on the Billboard 200 at No. 1 and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Record in 1995.
The group disbanded in 1997 as a result of tensions within the band with Cornell pursuing a solo career.
He went on to form Audioslave, a supergroup including former Rage Against the Machine members Tom Morello, Brad Wilk and Tim Commerford.
Audioslave separated in 2007, but Cornell and Soundgarden reunited in 2012 to release the band’s sixth studio album King Animal in 2012.
He also collaborated with members of what would become Pearl Jam to form Temple of the Dog and also found mainstream success when he collaborated and sang the theme song “You Know My Name” for the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale.
The Grammy Award-winning, Golden Globe-nominated singer had also become involved in philanthropy, starting the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation to support children facing poverty and abuse.
Tributes have begun flowing on Twitter, with Jane’s Addiction and Red Hot Chilli Peppers bassist Dave Navaro tweeting his shock over the death.
“So stunned to hear about Chis Cornell!!! Such a terrible and sad loss! Thinking of his family tonight,” he wrote.