Chris Cornell’s Cause of Death Confirmed as Suicide

Chris Cornell’s cause of death has been ruled a suicide, the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed to Us Weekly in a statement. The Soundgarden frontman died on Wednesday, May 17, after performing a sold-out concert with the band 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 statement reads. “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.”

Chris Cornell arrives at the premiere of "Machine Gun Preacher" at Roy Thomson Hall during the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2011 in Toronto, Canada.
Chris Cornell arrives at the premiere of "Machine Gun Preacher" at Roy Thomson Hall during the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2011 in Toronto, Canada. Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Cornell’s rep, Brian Bumbery, said in a statement to Us that the rocker’s death was “sudden and unexpected.”

A Detroit police spokesperson told Us that a family friend found Cornell on the bathroom floor in his room at the MGM Grand Hotel. Hours before his show with Soundgarden, Cornell tweeted in excitement about his gig in Motor City. “@Detroit finally back to Rock City!!!!” he captioned a picture of the Fox Theater’s marquee.

Aside from Soundgarden — which he cofounded with guitarist Kim Thayil and bassist Hiro Yamamoto in 1984 — Cornell worked with members of Pearl Jam on their project Temple of the Dog. He also lent his talent to supergroup Audioslave, which he joined in 2001. Cornell 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. 

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