I always liked the spooky vibe of the song Black Hole Sun. Thanks for the music, Chris.
Detroit police are investigating the death of musician Chris Cornell, 52, as a “possible suicide,” police spokesman Michael Woody told The Associated Press Thursday morning.
The Soundgarden singer was found unresponsive on the bathroom floor of a hotel room at the MGM Grand Casino in Detroit early Thursday night. He was reportedly pronounced dead at the scene, according to The New York Times.
“When the units arrived they were met by a gentleman who indicated that Chris Cornell had been found in his room,” Woody said. “When officers went to the room they found Chris Cornell laying [sic] 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,” he added.
Woody said there were “basic things observed at the scene” that led police to conduct an investigation but could not provide further details at this time.
“We are at the beginning stages of the investigation and we can’t say anything about the scene,” Woody said.
Cornell’s wife had called a friend and asked that he check on Cornell after he performed at the Fox Theatre earlier in the night. The friend proceeded to force open the door and find the singer in the bathroom, leading to an anonymous call to 911 for help.
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.
… Soundgarden broke through on mainstream radio with the album “Superunknown,” which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Record in 1995. It included hit singles “Spoonman,” “Fell on Black Days,” “Black Hole Sun,” “My Wave” and “The Day I Tried to Live.”
Soundgarden disbanded in 1997 due to tensions in the band, and Cornell pursued a solo career. In 2001, he joined Audioslave …
His show that night went well and he seemed in good spirits.
At no point during Wednesday night’s Soundgarden concert could anyone at Detroit’s Fox Theatre have guessed that lead singer Chris Cornell would be dead just a few hours later.
Cornell, 52, was in fine form and spirits as the Seattle quartet tore through the two-hour show. Though there’s now a macabre irony in the frontman’s choice to slip a bit of Led Zeppelin’s “In My Time of Dying” into the closing “Slaves & Bulldozers,” Cornell was nothing less than ebullient through the night, in good voice — hitting all the expected screams — and fist-bumping with fans in the pit in front of the stage.
Detroit Police Investigating Chris Cornell Death as ‘Possible Suicide’
He was also clearly pleased to be in Detroit. After tweeting “Finally back in Detroit Rock City” with a picture of the venue earlier in the day, Cornell’s praise for the local fans was frequent and thick. “Detroit Rock City! It’s great to be back here, honestly,” Cornell said after the group started the show with “Ugly Truth.” “I have bragged about Detroit crowds for 30 years… There’s no other crowd that never, ever disappoints.” During the encore, Cornell added that, “Detroit, you guys…show up! I feel sorry for the next place we play… but we don’t have the same expectations.”
Veteran music photographer Ken Settle, who was on assignment at Wednesday’s show, notes that, “I shot Chris with Soundgarden back in the early ’90s, and sometimes he could seem fairly sullen onstage. But last night, during what I shot, he seemed very upbeat, engaging the audience much more than I remember in the past.”
The family disputes it being a suicide.
The family of Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell is refuting “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.
The musician 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.
The drugs, benzodiazepines, can tell you to kill yourself. This can happen if you stay on the same dose, or decrease them, or increase them.
Self-harm and suicide associated with benzodiazepine usage
Benzodiazepines are commonly prescribed in primary care for anxiety disorders and insomnia. However, they can cause dependence with withdrawal symptoms that are both physical and psychological. These complications are also more common with short-acting benzodiazepines such as lorazepam.
… withdrawal symptoms can occur after 4–6 weeks of continuous use and at least a third of long-term users experience these on dosage reduction.
Withdrawal symptoms can be described in both physical (paraesthesia and visual disturbances) and psychological (anxiety, insomnia, and depersonalisation) terms.
… a previously stable 62-year-old male … inflicted serious stab wounds to himself, twice within a month, during changes in his benzodiazepine regime.
Benzodiazepines are a type of medication known as tranquilizers. Familiar names include Valium and Xanax. They are some of the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States. … more than 2,000 different benzodiazepines have been produced, only about 15 are currently FDA-approved in the United States
… The combination of benzodiazepines and alcohol can be dangerous — and even lethal.
DAWN estimates that there were 212,736 medical emergencies resulting in ED visits for drug-related suicide attempts in 2010. Almost all (94.7%) of these ED visits involved a prescription drug or over-the-counter medication…
“Pharmaceuticals were much more common than illicit drugs in ED visits for drug-related suicide attempts….Benzodiazepines were involved in more than a quarter (28.4%) of visits …
Avoid the drugs and feel the feelings. Talk through your feelings, journal, exercise, enjoy hobbies, meditate, spend time with friends, get counseling, but avoid the drugs. Depression, especially situational, is a normal part of the human experience.
Here is Chris performing not long ago with Cat Stevens, one of my favorite songwriters.