DETROIT, Mi. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A medical examiner confirms Thursday afternoon that Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell killed himself by hanging in a Detroit hotel room following a concert.
A full autopsy report was not yet completed Thursday afternoon.
Cornell, 52, was found dead in a hotel room at the MGM Grand Detroit after having performed with Soundgarden at the Fox Theatre.
The singer’s wife had called a family friend and asked him to check on the musician, Woody said. The friend forced open the hotel room door and found Cornell on the bathroom floor, according to Woody.
Last month, Cornell appeared on “CBS This Morning Saturday” and discussed writing songs for movies, such as co-writing “You Know My Name” in 2007 for the James Bond film “Casino Royale.”
With his powerful, nearly four-octave vocal range, Cornell was one of the leading voices of the 1990s grunge movement with Soundgarden, which emerged as one of the biggest bands out of Seattle’s emerging music scene, joining Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains.
Formed in 1984 by Cornell, guitarist Kim Thayil and bassist Hiro Yamamoto, Soundgarden’s third studio album, “Badmotorfinger,” in 1991 spawned popular singles “Jesus Christ Pose,” ”Rusty Cage” and “Outshined” that received regular play on alternative rock radio stations.
Cornell also collaborated with members of what would become Pearl Jam to form Temple of the Dog, which produced a self-titled album in 1991 in tribute to friend Andrew Wood, former frontman for Mother Love Bone.
Three years later, Soundgarden broke through on mainstream radio with the album “Superunknown,” which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Record in 1995. It included hit singles “Spoonman,” ”Fell on Black Days,” ”Black Hole Sun,” ”My Wave” and “The Day I Tried to Live.”
Soundgarden disbanded in 1997 due to tensions in the band, and Cornell pursued a solo career. In 2001, he joined Audioslave, a supergroup that included former Rage Against the Machine members Tom Morello, Brad Wilk and Tim Commerford. The band released three albums in six years and also performed at a concert billed as Cuba’s first outdoor rock concert by an American band, though some Cuban artists have disputed that claim.
Audioslave disbanded in 2007, but Cornell and Soundgarden reunited in 2012 and released the band’s sixth studio album, “King Animal” in 2012.
Cornell also released four solo studio albums and a solo live album. He also released the single “The Promise” in March on iTunes, with all proceeds going to the International Rescue Committee, a global humanitarian aid, relief and development non-governmental organization.
In addition to his music, Cornell also became involved in philanthropy and started the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation to support children facing challenges, including homelessness, poverty, abuse and neglect.