Chris Cornell, singer and guitarist for iconic grunge band Soundgarden, passed away early Thursday morning at the age of 52. 

Chris Cornell, singer and guitarist for iconic grunge band Soundgarden, passed away early Thursday morning at the age of 52. 

Tessa Jamerson/Chris Cornell

Rock fans around the world got a shock when they woke up on Thursday morning when they learned that Soundgarden singer and guitarist Chris Cornell had passed away at the young age of 52. Soundgarden are currently in the middle of a North American tour, and performed at the Fox Theater in Detroit on Wednesday night, making it a show that fans in the audience won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

A representative for the band commented, “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. They would like to thank his fans for their continuous love and loyalty and ask that their privacy be respected at this time."

There hasn't been an official release of information on the possible cause of death as of Thursday morning, however, a Detroit news station is saying it was a suicide.

Cornell's dynamic and powerful voice were a big part of the evolution and dominance of grunge in mainstream music in the early '90s. In 2001, he and Rage Against the Machine members Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk formed Audioslave. The supergroup had a string of hits in "Like A Stone" and "Be Yourself," leading the way for hard rock into the 2000s. Audioslave reunited and performed together this past winter at an event thrown by Tom Morello with his other band, Prophets of Rage. It was their first performance together since 2005. 

Soundgarden had been working together again in recent years and were only 12 shows into their tour when Cornell died following last night’s show. As seen in the video below, the last song he would ever perform with his famous band was “Slaves And Bulldozers,” from 1991’s Badmotorfinger album. Stereogum also reports that they eerily merged the night’s final song with a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “In My Time Of Dying.”