Chris Cornell, frontman of American hard rock band staples, Soundgarden and Audioslave, died suddenly Wednesday night in Detroit. He was just 52.
In a statement released to the Associated Press, Cornell’s representative shared that his death was “sudden and unexpected.” He also added that Cornell’s family will work closely alongside the medical examiner to determine the cause of death.
A Seattle native, Cornell helped shape the sound of grunge music with several other now-legendary bands like Nirvana and Alice In Chains. He formed Soundgarden in 1984, alongside members Kim Thayil and Hiro Yamamoto, the band’s inescapable bassist. Soundgarden recorded six studio albums over the course of 22 years, and took home a Grammy in 1995 for Best Metal Performance, for “Spoonman.”
But the group’s hugest hit is the trippy hazy “Black Hole Sun,” which was accompanied by an even trippier video.
While still part of Soundgarden, Cornell formed a supergroup with a few members of Rage Against the Machine after lead singer Zac De La Rocha left the group. Named Audioslave, the conglomerate would release three projects between 2001 and 2007 before disbanding.
Cornell’s rock contemporaries took to Twitter to pay tribute this morning.
Cornell recorded some notable tracks of his own, including the haunting acoustic cover of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.” Check it out below.