Rocker Chris Cornell, who gained fame as the lead singer of the bands Soundgarden and later Audioslave, has died at age 52, according to his representative. Cornell, who had been on tour, died Wednesday night in Detroit, Brian Bumbery said in a statement to the AP. Bumbery called the death "sudden and unexpected" and said the singer's wife and family were shocked by it. The statement said the family would be working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause and asked for privacy. With his powerful, nearly four-octave vocal range, Cornell was one of the leading voices of the 1990s grunge movement with Soundgarden, which emerged as one of the biggest bands out of Seattle's music scene.
Formed in 1984 by Cornell, guitarist Kim Thayil, and bassist Hiro Yamamoto, Soundgarden's third studio album, Badmotorfinger, in 1991 spawned enormously popular singles "Jesus Christ Pose," ''Rusty Cage," and "Outshined." Soundgarden disbanded in 1997 due to tensions in the band, and Cornell pursued a solo career. In 2001, he joined Audioslave, a supergroup that included former Rage Against the Machine members Tom Morello, Brad Wilk, and Tim Commerford. Audioslave disbanded in 2007, but Cornell and Soundgarden reunited in 2012 and released the band's sixth studio album, King Animal, the same year. At the time of his death, Soundgarden was on an 18-date US tour. (Hours before his death, Cornell played one of his biggest hits for the last time.)