Chris Cornell, the dynamic performer whose band Soundgarden was at the forefront of grunge music, died at the age of 52 on Wednesday night in Detroit hours after his band had performed there.
The death was a suicide by hanging, the Wayne County medical examiner’s office said in a statement released on Thursday afternoon. It said a full autopsy had not yet been completed.
Mr. Cornell’s representative, Brian Bumbery, said in a statement that the death was “sudden and unexpected.”
In 2004 Cornell married Greek American publicist Vicky Karayiannis and that year the newlyweds had a daughter, Toni and later in 2005 a son called Christopher Nicholas.
The relationship saw Cornell convert to Greek Orthodoxy under his new wife’s influence.
In addition to his music, Cornell also became heavily involved in philanthropy and started the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation to support children facing challenges, including homelessness, poverty, abuse and neglect.
Most recently he wrote the end title song for ‘The Promise’, a film about the Armenian Genocide, a project he felt especially connected to because of his wife’s Greek heritage. Just one month before his death, Cornell attended the screening for the film at New York’s Paris Theatre along with his family.
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