Chris Cornell: Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman dies aged 52

Chris Cornell of Soundgarden

The sudden death of Chris Cornell, the lead singer of rock bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, came as a shock to other rock stars, who took to the social media to express their grief.

Cornell, who had been on tour, died Wednesday night in Detroit, Cornell's representative Brian Bumbery said in a statement to The Associated Press.

The Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office said today it completed the preliminary autopsy on Cornell, but that "a full autopsy report has not yet been completed". "They would like to thank his fans for their continuous love and loyalty and ask that their privacy be respected at this time".

At the time of his death, Cornell was married to Vicky Karayiannis. Their fourth album, "Superunknown", debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart in March 1994 and included two tracks - "Black Hole Sun" and "Spoonman" - that won Grammy Awards for Best Hard Rock Performance and Best Metal Performance the following year.

Audioslave disbanded in 2007, but Cornell and Soundgarden reunited in 2012 and released the band's sixth studio album, King Animal in 2012. With the arrival of drummer Scott Sundquist, Cornell moved to singing full-time and the next year they recorded three songs for the pivotal Deep Six compilation, which placed them alongside fellow grunge architects Melvins and Green River, the latter of which contained future Pearl Jam and Mudhoney members.

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The band split in 1997, but Cornell's success continued as a solo artist and with Audioslave, the supergroup he formed with Rage Against the Machine members Tom Morello, Tim Commerford, and Brad Wilk.

A Seattle native, Cornell came to prominence in the grunge scene in the early '90s after forming Soundgarden in 1984.

Cornell also released solo albums, and Nielsen Music said as a band member and solo act, the singer sold nearly 15 million albums and 8.8 million digital songs in the U.S. Their most successful single, "Like a Stone" released in 2003.

Cornell became another in a line of lead singers from major grunge rock bands to pass away.

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