The music world was shocked to learn that rock icon Chris Cornell “suddenly and unexpectedly” passed away on Wednesday night at 52. His cause of death is still unknown. The grunge legend was in Detroit at the time performing with Soundgarden, whose best-known album, the five-times platinum Superunknown, won a pair of Grammys. The Seattle-born Cornell also lent his unmistakable four-octave vocal range to Audioslave and Temple of the Dog.
“His wife Vicky and family were shocked to learn of his sudden and unexpected passing, and they will be working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause,” his representative, Brian Bumbery, wrote in a statement. “They would like to thank his fans for their continuous love and loyalty and ask that their privacy be respected at this time.”
The news was especially shocking because just last month, Cornell said that Soundgarden was “halfway through” writing a new album, the band’s first since 2012’s King Animal. “What I look forward to the most, because I tour so much, especially the last couple of years, by myself, is the camaraderie,” he said. “It’s what we missed when we weren’t a band. When I do solo tours, I’m really kind of alone all the time, so that’s the best thing about it.”
Cornell will be missed, as evidence by the tributes from his fellow rock stars.