Chris Cornell, who died at age 52 on Wednesday, May 17, was remembered in a moment of silence at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards.
Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons took the stage at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena on Sunday, May 21, to lead the brief memorial and to share a few sweet words about the Soundgarden frontman’s legacy.
“Although tonight is a night to celebrate the music and artists of the past year, it’s also a time to recall a member of our community we lost this past week. Soundgarden and Audioslave’s Chris Cornell was a true innovator, a musical architect and a pioneer on the cutting edge of the Seattle grunge movement,” Reynolds, 29, told the star-studded crowd. “He was a prolific songwriter, a legendary performer, a singer who had a voice for the ages, and a philanthropist whose Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation helped so many children around the world.”
He added, “Even though Chris is gone, his legacy endures. We send our respects, as well as our love to Chris’ family at this time. Please join us in a moment of silence to remember Chris Cornell.”
The entire audience then fell into a brief silence as a picture of Cornell flashed across a large screen onstage. Cornell’s cause of death was ruled a suicide by the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office on Thursday, May 18. The rocker’s death came after a sold-out concert with Soundgarden in Detroit.
“The Medical Examiner’s Office has completed the autopsy on 52-year-old Chris Cornell, the Soundgarden musician who died last night in Detroit,” the Medical Examiner’s statement read to Us. “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.”
Though he is arguably best known for his work in Soundgarden — which he cofounded with guitarist Kim Thayil and bassist Hiro Yamamoto in 1984 — Cornell also worked with members of Pearl Jam on their project Temple of the Dog, and was a part of Audioslave, which he joined in 2001. He is survived by his wife, Vicky, and three children.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 to be connected to a local crisis center for confidential emotional support.