In a statement given to the Assoicated Press, Cornell's representative Brian Bumbery said his wife and family were shocked at his "sudden and unexpected" death, with the singer having passed away shortly after playing a gig with Soundgarden in Detroit on Wednesday night. The statement said the family would be working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause and asked for privacy. Cornell had been tweeting his excitement for the sold out gig just hours before his untimely death:
His band, Soundgarden, was a pioneer of the grunge scene during the late 80’s and early 90’s, along with bands like Nirvana, Mudhoney and Jane’s Addiction. The heavy sound and poignant lyricism heard in songs like 'Black Hole Sun', brought a wider and more devoted audience to his genre, filling up stadiums around the world.
After their break up he went on to form the supergroup Audioslave, along with Rage Against The Machine members Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk. During the years, across Soundgarden, Audioslave and his solo career, Cornell won two GRAMMY Awards and was nominated for nine more including a nod for his solo outing on the Casino Royale theme 'You Don't Know Me', soundtracking Daniel Craig's first outing as James Bond.
He also won the MTV VMA for Best Rock Video for 'Black Hole Sun' with Soundgarden.