Chris Cornell, lead singer of rock bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, was found dead at the age of 52.
His death took place shortly after performing with Soundgarden at the Fox Theatre. At the MGM Grand hotel down the road, he was found in the bathroom with a band tied around his neck. Police claimed it was a homicide at first, but after watching surveillance video, they ruled it a suicide.
What makes this situation a bit more heart-rendering was Soundgarden’s encore before his death. The band covered Led Zeppelin’s version of the gospel song “In My Time of Dying.”
Throughout his life, Cornell has battled depression, drug and alcohol abuse, and thoughts of suicide. “If you’re depressed long enough, it’s almost a comfort, a state of mind that you’ve made peace with because you’ve been in it so long. It’s a very selfish world,” he told Men’s Health in an interview.
After some time playing in the cover band The Shemps, Cornell founded Soundgarden in 1984. The band’s 1988 debut album Ultramega OK, which gained a Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance, helped expose people to the Seattle grunge scene.
Aside from his time with Soundgarden and Audioslave, Cornell was a key factor in bringing Pearl Jam together with Temple of the Dog, and he released five solo albums. His last album was 2015’s Higher Truth.
After his death, the music video for the album’s sole single “Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart” was pulled from YouTube. The visual depicts Cornell as a prisoner set to be hung.
Cornell was slated to finish working on Soundgarden’s new studio album, which would’ve been the follow up to their 2012 release King Animal. There’s no word if any studio sessions will ever be made public.
He is survived by his wife Vicky and three children (Christopher Nicholas, Toni, and Lillian Jean).