Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell died Wednesday night (May 17th) at the age of 52, confirmed his publicist.
In a brief statement, the representative said, "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. They would like to thank his fans for their continuous love and loyalty and ask that their privacy be respected at this time."
The musician was in Detroit where he performed with Soundgarden at the Fox Theatre. The tour was slated to continue through the end of the month.
Soundgarden had been working on material for its seventh studio album and had tentatively planned to enter the studio later this year.
The band reunited in 2010 after a 13-year hiatus, first touring and then writing and recording King Animal, its first new studio album in 16 years.
In addition to Soundgarden, Cornell sang with Audioslave and Temple Of The Dog, while also recording four solo studio albums and one live set on his own.
He formed Soundgarden in 1984 with guitarist Kim Thayil and bassist Hiro Yamamoto, originally playing drums in addition to singing until drummer Matt Cameron joined the lineup.
Soundgarden became one of the first and most successful bands to emerge from the Seattle scene, alongside friends and contemporaries Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains.
Cornell told us not long ago that Soundgarden's songwriting has always made the band unique: "We were never an easy band to mimic. There's a lot of bands influenced by us, but I don't think you could sit down and point to three or four bands over the history of the last 20 years that really just tried to cop what we did and then came out. 'Cause it wasn't possible.”
The band first broke through to rock radio with its 1991 third album, Badmotorfinger, which featured the singles "Outshined," "Rusty Cage" and "Jesus Christ Pose." That paved the way for 1994's five-million-selling Superunknown, which included "Black Hole Sun," "My Wave," "Spoonman" and "Fell On Black Days."
Soundgarden split up in 1997 due to tensions within the band, with Cornell first starting a solo career than teaming in 2001 with the instrumental members of Rage Against The Machine to launch Audioslave. That band recorded three studio albums before splitting in 2007.
Cornell also collaborated in 1990 with members of what would become Pearl Jam to form Temple Of The Dog, making a self-titled album in 1991 in tribute to late Mother Love Bone frontman Andrew Wood. Temple Of The Dog reunited last year for a short five-date tour, its first ever.
Cornell also contributed solo songs to a number of films, including Great Expectations, Machine Gun Preacher, 12 Years A Slave and the recent The Promise. He also sang the theme song, "You Know My Name," to the 2008 James Bond adventure Casino Royale.
Cornell and his wife also started the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation to support children facing challenges, including homelessness, poverty, abuse and neglect.
He is survived by Vicky and three children, a daughter named Toni, a son named Christopher and a daughter named Lillian from his previous marriage to former Soundgarden manager Susan Silver.
Cornell told us a while back that his marriage to Vicky has helped make being both a rock star and a father much easier for him: "I'm so supported that I'm not having to find a balance between career and family. We have managed to figure out a way to do it and figure out a way to just kind of include it as being who we are as a couple, who we are as a family, and it's all part of one thing.”