Chris Cornell dies at 52 — UPDATED
UPDATE: Friday, May 19 at 5 p.m. EST
Disclaimer: The following information might be disturbing to some.
The police report concerning Chris Cornell's death this week has now been obtained by The Detroit News. The report uncovers more details about the scene, including the fact that Cornell was found, by a bodyguard, slumped on the bathroom floor of his Detroit hotel room "with blood running from his mouth and a red exercise band around (his) neck."
The musician was pronounced dead at 1:30 a.m. on May 18, local time. Vicky Cornell, Chris Cornell's wife, was concerned about her husband and told the bodyguard, Martin Kirsten, to check on him after she last spoke with the Soundgarden frontman, recalling that he sounded "groggy and just kept saying, 'I am just tired,' and hung up the phone."
Reportedly, Kirsten was last in Cornell’s hotel room at the MGM Grand Hotel around 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday night, helping the musician with his computer. The Detroit News states that Kirsten then gave Cornell two Ativan pills, "which victim takes for anxiety," as outlined in the police report.
As mentioned below, a statement issued by Vicky Cornell and attorney Kirk Pasich previously disclosed Chris Cornell's use of the drug Ativan, with Pasich alluding to its role in the Audioslave singer's untimely death. "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," the statment said.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness, there is help to be found. Please consider these online resources and talk to your regular doctor about your symptoms:
MentalHealth.gov - Get Immediate Help
ImAlive - Online Crisis Network
International Association For Suicide Prevention - Resources
The Anxiety And Depression Association Of America
The National Alliance On Mental Illness
American Psychiatric Association - Finding Help
National Institute Of Mental Health
American Psychological Association - Psychologist locator
UPDATE: Friday, May 19 at 10:22 a.m. EST
Chris Cornell's wife, Vicky Cornell, is now disputing the idea that Cornell took his own life in a new statement. You can read her complete statement below, via Pitchfork:
"Chris’s death is a loss that escapes words and has created an emptiness in my heart that will never be filled. As everyone who knew him commented, Chris was a devoted father and husband. He was my best friend. His world revolved around his family first and of course, his music, second. He flew home for Mother’s Day to spend time with our family. He flew out mid-day Wednesday, the day of the show, after spending time with the children. When we spoke before the show, we discussed plans for a vacation over Memorial Day and other things we wanted to do. When we spoke after the show, I noticed he was slurring his words; he was different. When he told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two, I contacted security and asked that they check on him. What happened is inexplicable and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details. I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life.
The outpouring of love and support from his fans, friends and family means so much more to us than anyone can know. Thank you for that, and for understanding how difficult this is for us."
Cornell's attorney, Kirk Pasich, also referenced the anti-anxiety drug Ativan in his statement writing, "Some medical literature indicates that Ativan can cause paranoid or suicidal thoughts, slurred speech and impaired judgment."
UPDATE: Thursday, May 18 at 2:20 p.m. EST
Associated Press has reported that Chris Cornell's death has officially been confirmed as a suicide by hanging by the Wayne County medical examiner. Editor's note: If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness, there is help to be found. Please find a list of resources at the end of this story.
The New York Times reported that Dontae Freeman, a spokesman for the Detroit Police Department, revealed that Cornell was found in the bathroom of his hotel room "with a band around his neck."
UPDATE: Thursday, May 18 at 9:25 a.m. EST
Billboard are now reporting that the police in Detroit are investigating Cornell's death as a possible suicide. Cornell was found last night unresponsive in his hotel room at around midnight on May 18, after a family friend forced his way into the room. WXYZ reported that Cornell's wife asked the family friend to check up on Cornell before finding him unresponsive on the bathroom floor.
"When the units arrived they were met by a gentleman who indicated that Chris Cornell had been found in his room," said Michael Woody, Director of the Detroit Police Department's media relations . "When officers went to the room they found Chris Cornell laying in his bathroom, unresponsive and he had passed away. We are investigating it as a possible suicide but we need to wait on the medical examiner to determine the cause and manner of death."
Cornell's last song performed that night was "Slaves & Bulldozers" with an interlude of Led Zeppelin's "In My Time of Dying," you can watch a fan shot video of Cornell's final performance below.
ORIGINAL POST: Thursday, May 18 at 6 a.m. EST
Chris Cornell, Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman, died Wednesday night at age 52.
Read more: Musicians reflect on Chris Cornell’s death
Soundgarden were in Detroit for a performance at the Fox Theatre as part of their current tour, which began in April. They were scheduled to perform at Rock On The Range in Columbus on Friday. Cornell's death was "sudden and unexpected," according to CNN.
"His wife Vicky and family were shocked to learn of his sudden and unexpected passing, and they will be working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause," a statement to CNN from his representavie Brian Bumbery read. "They would like to thank his fans for their continuous love and loyalty and ask that their privacy be respected at this time."
Cornell formed Soundgarden in Seattle in 1984, and the band became influential during the '90s grunge movement. The band disbanded in 1997, but they reunited in 2010. They appeared on the cover of Alternative Press in 1989 and 1994.
In 1994, they released Superunknown, which was nominated for a Grammy Award for best rock album. Two tracks from that album won Grammys that year: "Black Hole Sun" won for best hard rock performance, and the song "Spoonman" won for best metal performance.
Cornell and members of Rage Against The Machine formed Audioslave in 2001, and they released three albums before their 2007 split.