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BREAKING: Soundgarden Singer Chris Cornell Dead

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Chris Cornell, the lead singer for grunge legends Soundgarden, died at the age of 52.

Cornell died on May 17 in Detroit, his representative Brian Bumbery said in a statement. The singer’s death, the statement read, was “sudden and unexpected," according to The New York Times.

According to Bumbery's statement, Cornell's family will work "closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause" of death, HuffPost reports.

Soundgarden performed a concert at the Fox Theater in Detroit the night of Cornell's death, and there were social media posts about the event just hours before he was found dead in his hotel.

Authorities suspected suicide as a cause of death, though no official conclusion has been reached, Mirror reports. Several reports say Cornell's wife Vicky called a family friend to conduct a welfare check on her husband after the performance. His door was forced open, leading the friend to find his lifeless body.

Cornell’s career began in Seattle, Washington, as the singer in Soundgarden, known for hits like “Black Hole Sun” and “Fell on Black Days," The Times notes.

After the breakup of Rage Against the Machine in 2001 when singer Zack de la Rocha left the group, Cornell teamed up with the remaining members to form Audioslave -- a group that went on to record three albums and have several hits before parting ways in 2007.

Cornell had a history of addiction problems, but got sober in 2003.

“I actually like rehab a lot. It’s like school; it’s interesting,” he told Spin Magazine that year, The Guardian reports. "I’m learning that I can be teachable at age 38."

“I would sometimes drink before we played," Cornell added at the time. "It wasn’t a big deal. It became a bigger deal when I stopped doing the other things I liked to do. I used to ride mountain bikes around with my friends, and we’d keep 40-ouncers where the water bottle was supposed to be. But once I removed the mountain and the bike, there was just the drinking.”

Sources: The New York Times, HuffPostThe Guardian, Mirror / Photo credit: Ivo K/Flickr

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