Obituary: Chris Cornell, Soundgarden and Audioslave lead singer dies at 52

Musician/actor Chris Cornell . Photo  Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Musician/actor Chris Cornell . Photo Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
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Rocker Chris Cornell, who gained fame as the lead singer of the bands Soundgarden and later Audioslave, has died at the age of 52, according to his representative.

Cornell, who had been on tour, died on Wednesday night in Detroit, Brian Bumbery said in a statement.

Bumbery called the death “sudden and unexpected” and said his wife and family were shocked by it.

With his powerful, nearly four-octave vocal range, Cornell was one of the leading voices of the 1990s grunge movement with Soundgarden, which emerged as one of the biggest bands out of Seattle’s emerging music scene, joining the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains.

Formed in 1984 by Cornell, guitarist Kim Thayil and bassist Hiro Yamamoto, Soundgarden’s third studio album, Badmotorfinger, in 1991 spawned enormously popular singles Jesus Christ Pose, Rusty Cage and Outshined that received regular play on alternative rock radio stations.

Cornell also collaborated with members of what would become Pearl Jam to form Temple of the Dog.

Soundgarden disbanded in 1997 due to tensions in the band, and Cornell pursued a solo career.

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