By Blurt Staff
The Soundgarden and Audioslave vocalist is dead at the age of 52. On Wednesday night, May 17, he took his own life, by hanging. He apparently use an exercise band that he attached to the top of a hotel bathroom door. Soundgarden had performed earlier that evening in Detroit.
Some observers have claimed it was not altogether unexpected, as Cornell had a history of substance abuse and, according to his wife, was on anti-anxiety medicine. His wife, however, further speculated that it might not have been altogether intentional because she had talked to him earlier in the evening and said he sounded “groggy” and indicated he had taken additional anxiety medicine. Cornell’s attorney noted, according to Rolling Stone, “Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris — or if any substances contributed to his demise. Chris, a recovering addict, had a prescription for Ativan and may have taken more Ativan than recommended dosages. The family believes that if Chris took his life, he did not know what he was doing, and that drugs or other substances may have affected his actions…. [side effects of Ativan include] “paranoid or suicidal thoughts, slurred speech and impaired judgment.”
Soundgarden, of course, was one of the premiere acts of the grunge era, along with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, and Mudhoney. 1991’s Badmotorfinger remains a defining release from the era. The band was also one of the early acts to appear on Sub Pop Records. He follows in the footsteps of fellow grunge icon Kurt Cobain, who also committed suicide.