Singer Chris Cornell dies at age 52

APTOPIX Obit-Chris Cornell

DETROIT — Chris Cornell, one of the most lauded and respected contemporary lead singers in rock music with his bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, hanged himself Wednesday in a Detroit hotel room, according to the city’s medical examiner. He was 52.

The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office said Thursday it completed the preliminary autopsy on Cornell, but that “a full autopsy report has not yet been completed.” A police spokesman told Detroit newspapers that the singer was found with a band around his neck.

Cornell’s death stunned his family and his die-hard fans, who Cornell just performed for hours earlier at a show in Detroit. Soundgarden’s current tour kicked off in late April and was planned to run through May 27. He was found dead at the MGM Grand Detroit hotel by a family friend who went to his room after Cornell’s wife asked him to check on the singer, police said.

Cornell was a leader of the grunge movement with Seattle-based Soundgarden — with whom he gained critical and commercial acclaim — but also found success outside the band with other projects, including Audioslave, Temple of the Dog as well as solo albums. He was widely respected in the music industry: He reached success in every band lineup he was part of it, his voice was memorable and powerful, and he was a skilled songwriter, even collaborating on a number of film soundtracks, including the James Bond theme song for 2006’s “Casino Royale.”