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Soundgarden Vocalist Chris Cornell Dies Age 52

Kayley Loveridge

Chris Cornell, Lisbon, 2009

Chris Cornell, vocalist of American hard rock bands Soundgarden and Audioslave has died aged 52.

Brian Bumbery, Chris Cornell’s representative, confirmed that the artist had died on Wednesday 17 in Detroit, hours after playing a concert with Soundgarden. He called the death “sudden and unexpected.”

Soundgarden, along with cult giants Nirvana and Pearl Jam, were a part of the emerging grunge scene of the late 80s and early 90s, famed for bringing their heavy, angsty sound into the mainstream with hits like Black Hole Sun (1990) and Pretty Noose (1996). Soundgarden had cracked the charts in the United States selling over 10 million albums; the band won two Grammy awards and were nominated for nine. Soundgarden had split up up in 1997 but later reunited in 2010 releasing new works. Their most recent album was King Animal released back in 2012, but members of the band had been working on new tracks over the past 12 months.

Chris Cornell had public struggles with addiction to drugs and alcohol throughout his career and had a stint in rehab in 2003 where upon he remained sober ever since. He told Spin magazine, “I actually like rehab a lot. It’s like school; it’s interesting.” In a later interview with Details magazine, he said, “When I transitioned into adulthood—high-stakes emotional responsibilities—I did everything I could get my hands on. It happened without me really noticing it. The thing is, when you pick up the pipe for the first time, you don’t know that that’s your fate.”

Celebrities have flooded twitter with tributes to Chris Cornell:

Elton John:
“Shocked and saddened by the sudden death of @chriscornell. A great singer, songwriter and the loveliest man.”

Dave Navarro:
“SO SO stunned to hear about Chris Cornell! Such terrible and sad loss! Thinking of his family tonight! RIP”

The vocalist’s wife and family are said to be stunned at the unexpected news and have asked for privacy during this time. Chris Cornell’s representatives have said that his family will work closely with medical examiners to determine the cause of death.

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