On May 18, 2017, lead vocalist of the bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, Chris Cornell was found dead by his bodyguard in the bathroom of his room at the MGM Grand in Detroit after performing at a show with Soundgarden at the Fox Theatre on May 17. He was lying on the floor with an exercise band around his neck.The cause of death was determined to be suicide by hanging. Cornell was 52 years old
Cornell was known for his role as one of the architects of the 1990s grunge movement, for his extensive catalog as a songwriter, for his nearly four-octave vocal range, and for his powerful vocal belting technique. Cornell received a Golden Globe Award nomination for his song "The Keeper" which appeared in the film Machine Gun Preacher and co-wrote and performed the theme song to the James Bond film Casino Royale (2006), "You Know My Name".
Cornell's father came from Catholic home, and his mother from a Jewish family. Cornell went to a Catholic school but he didn't do well. He said he would have gotten kicked out if his mother hadn't pre-emptively removed him. On the reason why, he said, "It wasn't for any specific reason other than we asked a lot of questions. . . . Not only did they not have the answers, but it was sort of considered to be rude [to ask]. . . . If somebody tells you this is this and that's the way things are and shut up, you're a kid."
Later, Cornell gave up on religion and would not follow any school of thought. He said he believed there are "a lot of really cool ideas," but described himself as a "free thinker" and "open." He said, "So many bad things-as well as good things-have happened based on people blindly following religion, that I kind of feel like I want to stay away from any type of specific denomination or any religion period, for no other reason than just that."
That Catholic upbringing shows itself in some of Cornell's lyrics, sometimes getting him into some trouble. His song "Jesus Christ Pose" expressed the songwriter's frustration with entertainers who deify or martyr themselves in front of their public. But due in part to the music video, the band received death threats over the song and MTV refused to air it.