In a statement to AP, his rep, Brian Bumbery, said Cornell died on Wednesday night in Detroit.
Bumbery called the death “sudden and unexpected” and said his wife and family were shocked. The statement said the family would be working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause, and asked for privacy.
Prior to his death, Cornell had been touring with Soundgarden, which kicked off on April 28th in Tampa, FL, and was supposed to have seen the band on the road until May 27th with The Pretty Reckless and Dillinger Escape Plan supporting.
Cornell’s last tweet, posted at 8:06pm last night, was upbeat about Soundgarden’s show last night at the Fox Theatre in Detroit.
News of Cornell’s death prompted scores of tweets expressing sadness from artists like Jimmy Page, Dave Navarro, St. Vincent, Elton John, Cat Stevens, Joe Perry, among others.
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.
Soundgarden disbanded in 1997 due to tensions in the band, and Cornell pursued a solo career. In 2001, he joined Audioslave, a supergroup that included former Rage Against the Machine members Tom Morello, Brad Wilk and Tim Commerford. The band released three albums in six years and also performed at a concert billed as Cuba’s first outdoor rock concert by an American band, though some Cuban artists have disputed that claim.
Audioslave disbanded in 2007, but Cornell and Soundgarden reunited in 2012 and released the band’s sixth studio album, “King Animal” in 2012.
Cornell released his last original song “The Promise” earlier this year, which is featured in the new film The Promise starring Academy Award Winning actor Christian Bale and Golden Globe Winning actor Oscar Isaac.