Soundgar­den’s Cor­nell hangs self


Rocker Chris Cor­nell, a found­ing fa­ther of grunge who gained fame as the lead singer of the bands Soundgar­den and Au­dioslave, hanged him­self Wed­nes­day night in a Detroit ho­tel room hours af­ter play­ing a show, of­fi­cials said. He was 52. Cor­nell, had just fin­ished a Soundgar­den show at the his­toric Fox Theatre in the Mo­tor City when he was found dead — re­port­edly with a “band” around his neck — at the MGM Grand Detroit.

The Wayne County Med­i­cal Ex­am­iner’s Of­fice said Thurs­day that it had com­pleted a pre­lim­i­nary au­topsy but that a full re­port has not been com­pleted.

Cor­nell’s wife of 13 years, Vicky Karayian­nis, and their two pre­teen kids are in “shock,” the mu­si­cian’s rep Brian Bum­bery told The As­so­ci­ated Press.

Cor­nell tweeted Wed­nes­day at 8 p.m. be­fore the show, “#Detroit fi­nally back to Rock City!!!! @soundgar­den #nomore­bulls---,” along with a photo of the Fox Theatre.

Fan videos showed the rock star in high spir­its dur­ing his last per­for­mance, which the re­united Soundgar­den closed out with their hit “Slaves and Bull­doz­ers” — merged with Led Zep­pelin’s poignant “In My Time of Dy­ing.”

“It’s great to be back here!” Cor­nell told the sold-out crowd ear­lier in the show, one video shows.

Detroit Po­lice De­part­ment spokesman Michael Woody told the AP that Cor­nell’s wife called a fam­ily friend ask­ing him to check on Cor­nell af­ter the show and the friend forced the ho­tel room door open and found Cor­nell on the bath­room floor at about mid­night.

An­other po­lice spokesman, Don­tae Free­man, told the Detroit Free Press that Cor­nell was found with a “band” around his neck.

Cor­nell, a lead­ing voice of the 1990s grunge scene, rose to fame with the Seat­tle-based rock band, which formed in 1984. As singer and front­man, his wail­ing voice pow­ered songs such as “Fell on Black Days,” “Black Hole Sun” and one now eerily called “Pretty Noose.” Af­ter the band split in 1997, Cor­nell, with his pow­er­ful four-oc­tave vo­cal range, went solo. In 2001, he formed Au­dioslave with Rage Against the Ma­chine mem­bers Tom Morello, Tim Com­mer­ford and Brad Wilk.

Soundgar­den’s break­through al­bum, “Su­pe­run­k­nown,” de­buted at No. 1 on the Bill­board 200 and was nom­i­nated in 1995 for a Grammy.

Cor­nell had bat­tled drug ad­dic­tion in the past, hav­ing checked into a re­hab for sev­eral months in 2003.

He leaves be­hind his three chil­dren, Toni and Christo­pher, whom he had with Karayian­nis, and Lil­lian Jean, whom he had with his first wife, Alice in Chains man­ager Su­san Sil­ver, in 2000.

TRAGIC: Power-throated rocker Chris Cor­nell killed him­self af­ter a con­cert.

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