Family of Chris Cornell disputes he killed himself

by: KIRO 7 Staff Updated:

DETROIT - The family of Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell is disputing "inferences that Chris knowingly and intentionally" killed himself.
 
 
The family said in a statement that without toxicology tests completed, they can't be sure what led to his death, or if any substances were involved. According to lawyer Kirk Pasich, Cornell had a prescription for the anti-anxiety drug Ativan, which he said has various side effects.
 
 
Cornell was found dead in his Detroit hotel room Wednesday after performing at a concert.
 
Cornell's wife, Vicky Cornell, said in the statement that when she spoke to her husband after the Detroit show, he told her he may have taken "an extra Ativan or two" and was slurring his words.
 
The medical examiner in Detroit said Cornell hanged himself. Police told two Detroit newspapers the singer was found with a band around his neck.
 
 
 
 

Video of Cornell's last performance in Detroit

Unknown ObjectAbout Cornell’s influence on Seattle

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 emerging music scene, joining the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains.

Cornell, who was born in 1964, grew up in Seattle and went to Christ the King Catholic school in North Seattle and Shorewood High School in Shoreline. He and bassist Kim Thayil, a University of Washington graduate, and Western Washington University alum Hiro Yamamoto were roommates when they formed Soundgarden.

They made their first record in a small triangular building in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood (4230 Leary Way N.W.). It became Reciprocal Recording in 1986, and it’s also where Nirvana recorded their first album, “Bleach.”

Soundgarden's third studio album, "Badmotorfinger," in 1991 spawned enormously popular singles "Jesus Christ Pose," ''Rusty Cage" and "Outshined" that received regular play on alternative rock radio stations.

Cornell also collaborated with members of what would become Pearl Jam to form Temple of the Dog, which produced a self-titled album in 1991 in tribute to friend Andrew Wood, former frontman for Mother Love Bone.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.