Grunge star Cornell's death may have been suicide - Times LIVE
   
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Fri May 26 22:52:25 SAST 2017

Grunge star Cornell's death may have been suicide

AFP | 2017-05-19 06:15:52.0
LEGENDS: Eddie Vedder, left, of Pearl Jam and Chris Cornell perform during the 28th annual Bridge School Benefit at Shoreline Amphitheatre on October 26 2014 in Mountain View, California.
Image by: TIM MOSENFELDER/GETTY IMAGES

Chris Cornell, an emblematic grunge rock singer whose sweeping voice masked lifelong struggles with drugs and depression, died after a concert in what might have been suicide, police said yesterday. He was 52.

Hours after he played in Detroit with his main band, Soundgarden, emergency services personnel rushed to his room at the MGM Grand hotel after being alerted by his family, a police spokesman said.

Cornell was found unresponsive and his death "is being treated as a possible suicide", the police said.

The rocker's wife, Vicky Karayiannis Cornell, and the rest of the family, "were shocked to learn of his sudden and unexpected passing", publicist Brian Bumbery said.

"They thank his fans for their continuous love and loyalty and ask that their privacy be respected at this time."

Cornell, with little formal training, had one of the music world's most wide-ranging voices. He could swing nearly four octaves, moving from a deep baritone to a screech.

He showed off his vocal skills on Soundgarden hits such as Black Hole Sun.

The death closes another chapter in grunge, the sub-genre that emerged in Seattle in the late 1980s and combined the rough edges of punk rock with a gloomy introspection.

Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain, who towered over the grunge scene, killed himself in 1994 and Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland died on a tour bus in 2015 from a drug overdose.

Soundgarden had one of the heaviest sounds in grunge, with trappings of heavy metal, even though Cornell cited The Beatles as his biggest influence.

Cornell, a Seattle native, wrestled with drugs and alcohol for most of his life.

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