UPDATE (5/19/17, 9:00 a.m. ET): Chris Cornell's family has released a statement about his death. "Chris, a recovering addict, had a prescription for Ativan and may have taken more Ativan than recommended dosages," Kirk Pasich, an attorney for Cornell's family, said in a statement provided to MTV News. "The family believes that if Chris took his life, he did not know what he was doing, and that drugs or other substances may have affected his actions."
"What happened is inexplicable and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details," Vicky Cornell, Chris's wife, said.
UPDATE (5/18/17, 1:50 p.m. ET): The Associated Press reports that a medical examiner has determined that Chris Cornell committed suicide.
Cornell died Wednesday night (May 17) after performing with Soundgarden in Detroit. His representative called the death “sudden and unexpected,” the New York Times reports. Detroit police told the Associated Press they are investigating the death as a possible suicide.
Born in Seattle in 1964, Cornell founded Soundgarden in 1984. The band signed to Sub Pop in 1987 and would go on to release a series of albums that shaped the massive grunge movement of the early '90s.
Soundgarden's 1994 album Superunknown would launch the band to mainstream popularity. Two of its singles, “Spoonman” and “Black Hole Sun,” won Grammy awards in 1995 for Best Metal Performance and Best Hard Rock Performance, respectively.
Known for his distinctive earthy growl, Cornell released his first of five solo albums, Euphoria Morning, in 1999 after Soundgarden broke up in 1997. He joined the supergroup Audioslave, whose lineup included members of Rage Against the Machine, in 2001. Their self-titled debut album introduced Cornell's talents to a younger generation with the popular singles “Like a Stone” and “Show Me How To Live.”
Soundgarden reunited in 2010 and released their sixth album, King Animal, in 2012. The band was nearing the end of a U.S. tour at the time of Cornell's death.
“[Cornell's] 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,” read a statement from Cornell's representative. “They would like to thank his fans for their continuous love and loyalty and ask that their privacy be respected at this time.”