Chris Cornell, the voice and frontman of the bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, died overnight in Detroit at the age of 52. He was discovered just past midnight at the MGM Grand Detroit, according to city police.
No cause of death has been released, pending a medical examiner's report.
"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," Brian Bumbery, Cornell's representative, says in a statement. "They would like to thank his fans for their continuous love and loyalty and ask that their privacy be respected at this time."
A Detroit Police Department spokesman tells multiple media outlets that Cornell's death is being investigated as a possible suicide.
Cornell played a seminal role in the origins of grunge music, founding Soundgarden in 1984 with Kim Thayil and Hiro Yamamoto. Together with other Seattle natives Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains, the band — and Cornell's voice — would go on to define a sound that cherry-picked elements of punk and metal and distorted them into a distinctive brew all their own.
At Soundgarden's peak of popularity in the mid-1990s, the band's album Superunknown earned a Billboard No. 1 debut and a Grammy nomination for best rock record.
After the band broke up in 1997, Cornell pursued a solo career — though only for a few years. By 2001, he had helped found the supergroup Audioslave with several members of Rage Against the Machine.
Audioslave released three albums before disbanding in 2007, as well.
In 2012, Soundgarden returned with its first studio album since 1996. The band continue to tour; Cornell's body was reportedly discovered after their May 17 show in Detroit.