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Soundgarden frontman found dead after Fox Theatre show

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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DETROIT -- The music world is in shock after the death of Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell early Thursday morning, May 18, after the Seattle band's concert at the Fox Theatre.

Cornell's body was found in his hotel room at the MGM Grand in downtown Detroit. Representatives for the band called his death "sudden and unexpected," but no cause has been revealed. The Wayne County Medical Examiner is investigating and is expected to conduct an autopsy.

Cornell, 52, was in fine form during the quartet's two-hour show at the Fox, showing off his wide vocal range and room-shaking screams throughout the concert. He was in high spirits as well, frequently cheering the audience's enthusiastic response. "Detroit Rock City! It's great to be back here, honestly," Cornell said after the group started the show with "Ugly Truth." "I have bragged about Detroit crowds for 30 years...There's no other crowd that never, ever disappoints."

During the encore, Cornell added that, "Detroit, you guys...show up! I feel sorry for the next place we play...but we don't have the same expectations."

Soundgarden was slated to be among the headliners at this weekend's Rock on the Range festival in Columbus, Ohio.

The Seattle-born Cornell co-founded Soundgarden 1994 as part of the burgeoning Pacific Northwest grunge rock scene and fronted the band through six studio albums and a pair of Grammy Awards. He was also part of Temple of the Dog, a tribute band to friend and fellow Seattle singer Andrew Wood of Mother Love Bone, and fronted the band Audioslave with members of Rage Against the Machine. Cornell released four solo albums, most recently "Higher Truth" in 2015, performed the theme song for the 2006 James Bond film "Casino Royale" and received a Golden Globe Award nomination for "The Keeper" from the film "Machine Gun Preacher.

Cornell is survived by his second wife, Vicky Karayiannis, with whom he has a young son and daughter. He had teenage daughter from his first marriage.

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