Rocker Chris Cornell has died at age 52

Rocker Chris Cornell dies at age 52

Chris Cornell, who gained fame as the lead singer of the grunge rock band Soundgarden, has died aged 52.

Chris Cornell_afp
Photo: Kevin Winter / Getty Images North America / AFP

The musician's representative described his death on Wednesday night as "sudden and unexpected", and said his wife and family were shocked by it.

Cornell, who formed Soundgarden in 1984, was one of the leading voices of the 1990s grunge movement originating out of Seattle. He went on to form the noughties supergroup Audioslave.

Among his most famous songs were Soundgarden's 1994 grunge theme Black Hole Sun and Hunger Strike, a 1991 hit for another of his rock bands, Temple Of The Dog.

He was also known for the James Bond theme song You Know My Name from the 2006 movie Casino Royale.

Cornell died in Detroit, hours after he performed with Soundgarden at the Fox Theatre.

He tweeted a picture of the venue shortly before the sold-out show, writing: "Finally back to Rock City!!!!!".

He was currently touring the US with the band.

As the lead singer for Soundgarden, Cornell helped architect the 1990s grunge rock movement, later merging with Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder to form the one-hit rock band Temple Of The Dog.

After Soundgarden disbanded in 1997, Cornell pursued a solo career and earlier this year he released a new single titled The Promise.

In 2001 Cornell joined Audioslave which included former Rage Against the Machine members Tom Morello, Brad Wilk and Tim Commerford.

The band broke up in 2007 due to tensions in the group and Cornell continued to pursue his solo career.

He reunited with Soundgarden in 2012 and they released a sixth studio album, King Animal, that year.

Cornell was also a Grammy Award-winning, Golden Globe-nominated singer who became involved in philanthropy and started the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation to support children facing poverty and abuse.

His representative's statement said the family would be working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause and asked for privacy.

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