Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell was found dead on the floor of his MGM Grand Detroit hotel room last night. Brian Bumbery, Cornell’s representative, confirms his death. The Medical Examiner’s Office still has yet to determine the cause of death, but the Sun says Detroit police are treating it as a suspected suicide. “Police spokesman, Michael Woody, declined to provide any details on what made that determination, but said that there were ‘basic things observed at the scene’.” – NY Daily News.
Cornell was 52. He leaves behind his wife, Vicky, daughter Toni, son Christopher Nicholas, and a Lillian Jean, his daughter from a previous marriage.
Cornell, known most as being the singer and frontman of the 90s Seattle grunge metal band, Soundgarden, and who later joined with members of Rage Against the Machine to form “Audioslave”, was currently on tour with Soundgarden, and just before performing last night, he tweeted about his excitement of returning to Rock City: “#Detroit finally back to Rock City!!!! @Soundgarden #nomorebullshit”. Cornell also posted lyrics onto Facebook yesterday, from a Soundgarden song “By Crooked Steps” saying, “I’m the shape of the hole inside your heart.” Everything else he posted contains great thanks to all their fans for previous shows.
The Cornell family thanks his fans for (your) continuous love and loyalty, and asks that their privacy be respected at this time.
Update on Chris Cornell’s Death
5/19/17 – Rolling Stone reports that a medical examiner’s report has confirmed that Cornell’s death was by suicide, possibly by (accidentally?) taking too much of his anxiety medication, Ativan (lorazepam).
Chris’ wife, Vicky Cornell, stated, “Chris’s death is a loss that escapes words and has created an emptiness in my heart that will never be filled. As everyone who knew him commented, Chris was a devoted father and husband. He was my best friend. His world revolved around his family first and, of course, his music second. He flew home for Mother’s Day to spend time with our family. He flew out mid-day Wednesday, the day of the show, after spending time with the children. When we spoke before the show, we discussed plans for a vacation over Memorial Day and other things we wanted to do…When we spoke after the show, I noticed he was slurring his words; he was different. When he told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two, I contacted security and asked that they check on him. What happened is inexplicable and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details. I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life.”
Ativan is a benzodiazepine, and is often used to manage anxiety disorders, insomnia, panic attacks, and alcohol withdrawal. As in Chris’ case, it’s also often prescribed to recovering drug addicts.