The world said goodbye to Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell on Wednesday. The singer’s unexpected death is being investigated as a possible suicide.
Shortly after news of his passing broke, musicians flocked to Twitter to express their sadness. Elton John tweeted a photo of Cornell, 52, calling him “the loveliest man.” Gavin Rossdale, Jake Owen, Rage Against the Machine and more followed suit, posting similar messages about the musician.
Cornell took the stage with Soundgarden one last time in Detroit at 8 p.m. EDT on Wednesday. The band tweeted about the gig, but has yet to share a message about their lead singer’s death. Cornell’s final message on the social media site was a photo of the venue along with a seemingly excited message about his return “to Rock City!!!!”
Cornell also shared one final Instagram post before his death. The musician posted a video snippet, in which he’s shown walking toward a stage. He and his bandmates intimidate a DJ into leaving the stage with his laptop in tow and take over. In the caption he posted a lyric, “I’m the shape of the hole inside your heart.”
The venue snapped photos from the performance, sharing them on Twitter. Cornell can be seen performing with the band just hours before his death. Fans also snapped photos of Soundgarden’s set.
Representative Brian Bumbery released an official statement on Cornell’s death. The New York Times reported that his death was “sudden and unexpected.” Additionally, Bumbery assured fans that Cornell’s family was “working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause.”
While no official cause of death has been determined, Detroit police spokesman Michael Woody told AP that it’s being investigated as a potential suicide. Authorities made that decision because of “basic things observed at the scene.” According to ABC, Cornell was found on the floor of his hotel room bathroom.
The publication reports that he died at the MGM Grand Detroit hotel. According to Woody, Cornell’s wife instructed a family friend to go to the hotel to check on her husband. The friend forced open the door of Cornell’s hotel room where he found him dead.
The singer will be sorely missed in the music community. His unique four-octave vocal range helped him to stand out in the grunge scene. Cornell and his bandmates formed Soundgarden, only to disband in 1997.
After the band broke up, he went on to sing in Audioslave in 2001 with former members of Rage Against the Machine. Soundgarden reunited in 2010, releasing their sixth album two years later.
Between bands, Cornell completed a stint in rehab. He was treated for alcohol addiction, which he said would have happened regardless of how famous he got. In a 2012 interview, he revealed that his struggle with drinking began in his late teens and continued into adulthood.
“It was a long slow slide and then a long slow recovery, but there was self-discovery too,” he said (via Metro UK). “For me it was mostly alcohol — from my late teens until my late thirties.”
There’s no word on how the band plans to proceed in the wake of Cornell’s death. Wednesday’s show in detroit was not expected to be their last. In fact, Billboard reports that nearly a month prior, Cornell promised new music on the way.
Cornell leaves behind his wife, Vicky Karayiannis. The pair were married from 2004 to present. He was married once prior to a woman named Susan Silver, to whom he was married from 1990 to 2004.
He also has three children. Cornell predeceased two daughters, Toni and Lillian Cornell, and one son, Christopher Cornell Jr. Neither they nor their mother has spoken on the singer’s death.