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Soundgarden's Chris Cornell killed himself

The lead singer of US grunge rock band Soundgarden, Chris Cornell, died after hanging himself, according to medical officials.

The 52-year-old star, who also fronted Audioslave, was found dead in a Detroit hotel room following a Soundgarden concert at the Fox Theatre in the city.

Police said Cornell’s wife had called a family friend and asked him to check on the singer at the MGM Grand Detroit hotel.

Officers said the friend forced open a door and found Cornell in the bathroom.

The musician had tweeted a picture of the music venue shortly before the sold-out show, writing: “Finally back to Rock City!!!!!”.

Cornell's last tweet was published moments before his last show in Detroit
Image:Cornell’s last tweet was published before his last show in Detroit

His representative described his death on Wednesday night as “sudden and unexpected”, and said his wife and family were shocked by it.

Tributes have been paid on Twitter, with Jane’s Addiction and Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Dave Navarro writing: “SO SO stunned to hear about Chris Cornell! Such a terrible and sad loss! Thinking of his family tonight! RIP”

Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry tweeted: “Very sad news about Chris Cornell today. A sad loss of a great talent to the world, his friends and family. Rest In Peace.”

“Shocked and saddened by the sudden death of Chris Cornell. A great singer, songwriter and the loveliest man,” wrote Elton John.

Cornell, who formed Soundgarden in 1984, was one of the leading voices of the 1990s grunge movement originating out of Seattle. He went on to form the noughties supergroup Audioslave.

Among his most famous songs were Soundgarden’s 1994 grunge theme Black Hole Sun and Hunger Strike, a 1991 hit for another of his rock bands, Temple Of The Dog.

Chris Cornell on the set of Casino Royale in 2006
Image:Cornell sang the theme song for Casino Royale in 2006

He was also known for the James Bond theme song You Know My Name from the 2006 movie Casino Royale.

As the lead singer for Soundgarden, Cornell helped architect the 1990s grunge rock movement, later merging with Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder to form the one-hit rock band Temple Of The Dog.

Soundgarden disbanded in 1997, and Cornell pursued a solo career

In 2001, Cornell joined Audioslave which included former Rage Against the Machine members Tom Morello, Brad Wilk and Tim Commerford.

The band broke up in 2007 due to tensions in the group and Cornell continued to pursue his solo career.

He reunited with Soundgarden in 2012 and they released a sixth studio album, King Animal, that year.

Earlier this year he released a new solo single titled The Promise.

Cornell was also a Grammy Award-winning, Golden Globe-nominated singer who became involved in philanthropy and started the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation to support children facing poverty and abuse.

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