Cornell found in bathroom with band around neck

NEW YORK • The death of Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell on Wednesday night in Detroit was attributed to a suicide by hanging, the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office said on Thursday afternoon.

It added that a full autopsy had not yet been completed.

The 52-year-old had performed in the city with his band, one of the pioneers of grunge music in the 1980s, before his death.

Cornell's representative, Mr Brian Bumbery, had said in an earlier statement that the death was "sudden and unexpected".

Mr Dontae Freeman, a spokesman for the Detroit Police Department, said officers went to the MGM Grand hotel and casino around midnight in response to a call about an apparent suicide of a white man, whom he did not identify.

He added that the man's date of birth was July 20, 1964, which is Cornell's.

He said the man's wife had called a family friend to check on the man.


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The friend forced his way into the man's room at the casino and found him unresponsive on the bathroom floor with a band around his neck.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Cornell acknowledged in interviews that he had struggled with drug use throughout his life.

In a 1994 Rolling Stone article, he described himself as a "daily drug user at 13" who had quit by the time he turned 14.

After Soundgarden disbanded in 1997, a break-up that would last for more than a decade, Cornell returned to heavy drug use.

He told The Guardian in 2009 that he was a "pioneer" in the abuse of the opiate OxyContin and that he had gone to rehab.

Cornell helped form Soundgarden in Seattle, where he was born, around 1984.

The album Badmotorfinger, released in 1991, benefited from a swell of attention that was beginning to surround the Seattle scene where Soundgarden, along with Nirvana and Pearl Jam, were playing a high-octane, high-angst brand of rock 'n' roll.

Three of Soundgarden's studio albums have been certified platinum with sales of at least more than a million, including Superunknown, from 1994.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 20, 2017, with the headline 'Cornell found in bathroom with band around neck'. Print Edition | Subscribe