Cornell's representative Brian Bumbery gave a statement to the Associated Press, saying that the singer passed away on Wednesday night (May 17) in Detroit. Bumbery said his death was "sudden and unexpected". The cause of death is unknown. Earlier yesterday evening, Cornell played a show with Soundgarden at Detroit's Fox Theatre. The gig was part of the band's tour of North America.
Soundgarden were the first grunge band to sign to a major label, with A&M signing them in 1988. The move paved the way for other now-iconic acts Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains to break-through. The band recorded five studio albums and were best known for the Grammy Award-winning singles 'Spoonman' and 'Black Hole Sun'. Soundgarden split in 1997, but reformed in 2010.
Cornell also released solo material, including the Bond theme song 'You Know My Name', penned for 2006's Casino Royale. The track gave Cornell a UK top ten hit.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.