Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Cornell was one of the main movers and shakers of the grunge movement, forming Soundgarden with guitarist Kim Thayil and bassist Hiro Yamamoto in 1984.
No cause of death has been released, pending a medical examiner's report.
Before his death, Cornell was touring with Soundgarden and had performed in Detroit Wednesday night. "There was about two years where I was more or less agoraphobic and didn't deal with anybody, didn't talk to anybody, didn't have any friends at all. Something felt really settled in me when I thought that".
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At Soundgarden's peak of popularity in the mid-1990s, the band's album Superunknown earned a Billboard No. 1 debut and a Grammy nomination for best rock record.
Before returning to Soundgarden, Cornell formed the band Audioslave in 2001 with three former members of Rage Against the Machine. Euphoria Morning was the first of five spanning 16 years solo album which released in 1999. "A great singer, songwriter and the loveliest man", wrote Elton John.
Two Detroit newspapers had earlier cited a police spokesman Cornell was found with "a band around his neck".
"Suddenly the light bulb came on in my head, this guy's voice (Vedder) is fantastic for these low parts", Cornell had said about choosing Vedder for the duet.
Chris Cornell, who had been sober since checking out of rehab, shared his perspective on his prior life of addiction in an interview with Tampa Bay.