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Chris Cornell, who gained fame as the lead singer of Seattle grunge rock band Soundgarden, has died aged 52.

The musician’s representative described his death on Wednesday night as “sudden and unexpected”, and said his wife and family were shocked by it.

Cornell, who rose to fame with the 1990s grunge band Soundgarden, then went on to form the noughties supergroup Audioslave.

Among his most famous hits is the 1994 grunge theme Black Hole Sun and the 1991 Temple Of The Dog hit Hunger Strike.

He was also known for the James Bond theme song You Know My Name from the 2006 movie Casino Royale.

Chris Cornell on the set of Casino Royale in 2006

Image: Cornell on the set of Casino Royale in 2006, performing the song You Know My Name

The musician died in Detroit, hours after he performed with his old band Soundgarden at the Fox Theatre on Wednesday evening.

Cornell tweeted a picture of the venue shortly before the sold-out show, writing: “Finally back to Rock City!!!!!”.

Tributes have started to pour on Twitter, with Ink Master Dave Navarro writing: “So stunned to hear about Chris Cornell! Such a terrible and sal loss! Thinking of his family tonight!”

As the lead singer for Soundgarden, Cornell helped architect the 1990s grunge rock movement, later merging with Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder to form the one-hit supergroup Temple Of The Dog.

After Soundgarden disbanded in 1997, he pursued a solo career and had just released a new single titled The Promise.

In 2001, he joined Audioslave, a supergroup that included former Rage Against the Machine members Tom Morello, Brad Wilk and Tim Commerford.

He was also a Grammy award-winning, Golden Globe nominated singer who became involved in philanthropy and started the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation to support children facing poverty and abuse.

His representative’s statement said the family would be working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause and asked for privacy.

World News – Breaking international news and headlines | Sky News

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