Soundgarden Singer Chris Cornell Committed Suicide by Hanging

Chris Cornell suicide
Casey Curry/Invision/AP, File

Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell’s death has been ruled a suicide by hanging, the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office announced in a statement on Thursday.

“The Medical Examiner has completed the autopsy on 52-year-old Chris Cornell, the Soundgarden musician who died last night in Detroit,” reads the statement on the medical examiner’s Facebook page. “The cause of death has been determined as suicide by hanging. A full autopsy report has not yet been completed. There is no additional information at this time.”

The Soundgarden and Audioslave singer was found dead in his hotel room on Wednesday night in Detroit. The rocker was 52.

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Earlier on Thursday, a representative for the Detroit Police Department told Variety that the death was being investigated as a suicide. It was too early then to make a definitive conclusion.

“At 12 a.m. [local time], we received a 911 call from the MGM Grand Casino Hotel,” the Detroit Police Department’s director of media relations told Variety. “It appears as though a family friend was checking up on Cornell at his wife’s request. He went to the hotel and discovered him unresponsive on the bathroom floor. Police made the location with EMS, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.”

Cornell performed with Soundgarden just hours before his death at Detroit’s Fox Theatre on Wednesday night.

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A rep for the singer confirmed the death in a statement early Thursday morning.

“Chris Cornell passed away late Wednesday night in Detroit, MI,” the statement reads. “His wife Vicky and family were shocked to learn of his sudden and unexpected passing, and they will be working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause. They would like to thank his fans for their continuous love and loyalty, and ask that their privacy be respected at this time.”

Cornell, a key figure in Seattle’s ’90s grunge scene, founded Soundgarden in 1984 with guitarist Kim Thayil, drummer Matt Cameron, and bassist Hiro Yamamoto. The band won two Grammy Awards in 1995. Cornell performed solo after Soundgarden broke up two years later. He then joined Audioslave, which included former Rage Against the Machine members Tom Morello, Brad Wilk, and Tim Commerford. Soundgarden reunited in 2012.

In addition to his wife, Vicky Karayiannis, Cornell is also survived and three children: Lillian, Toni, and Christopher.

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    1. The timeline seems far fetched that 2 extra Ativans worked that fast. He got off stage at 11:36, security guard was in his room fixing his computer cuz he was having trouble, that’s when he got 2 Ativans. He was found on the floor(I’d like to know if he was undressed/naked)with blood coming out of his mouth with a exercise band around his neck. He’s a big guy the door was only 6’8″ and he’s what 6’4? Not a lot of room to easily do this act. ??He told his wife he was tired and hung up, that’s why the guard came to his room. In any case all this took place within less than 40 minutes of leaving the stage. What was wrong with his computer? I looked at his postings, they didn’t seem dark at all. He had other gigs still to perform he was on tour. It’s a bizarre strange tragedy. I hope the guard comes out and tells us what he knows.

    2. Ced says:

      How did he hang himself yet was found laying on the bathroom floor?

    3. Dave says:

      Chris was probably depressed because of his research into the Armenian Genocide and experiencing people’s indifference to such mass atrocities…read his interview on Billboard from April 17th, 2017:

      Asked if he got nightmares from it, he even started to cry:

      “It was more like daymares. Especially seeing some of the images and some of the documentary footage. You can’t unsee it. (Chokes up)”

      He was a very sensitive man.

      • ds says:

        Self described pioneer of Oxycontin addiction and admit major problems with Alcohol. Not too far fetched that he would get depressed and kill himself. My wife knew him, he was a great guy. It’s really sad.

    4. Dave says:

      Found this. Maybe it’s true. The interview shows that he was in a very depressed mood…

      “Chris was probably depressed because of his research into the Armenian Genocide and experiencing people’s indifference to such mass atrocities…read his interview on Billboard from April 17th, 2017:

      Asked if he got nightmares from it, he even started to cry:
      “It was more like daymares. Especially seeing some of the images and some of the documentary footage. You can’t unsee it. (Chokes up)”

      He was a very sensitive man.”

    5. EG(@heyseuss76) says:

      What an embarrassing way to go.

    6. I had the Pleasure of working with the band in 1992 and 2003. He had amazing talent and he will be greatly missed. Prayers for his family and close friends.
      Say Hello to Heaven 😔😔😔

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