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Chris Cornell performs at 2015 KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas at The Forum on Saturday, December 13, 2015, in Inglewood, CA. (Photo by Jeff Lombardo/Invision/AP)

Chris Cornell hanged himself, according to the medical examiner


UPDATE 2:05 p.m. EST:  Cornell hanged himself, according to the medical examiner.

ORIGINAL STORY:  Rock star Chris Cornell, the lead singer of bands such as Soundgarden and Audioslave, died at the age of 52, according to a representative. 

Cornell had been on tour when he died on Wednesday night in Detroit, having performed a concert that night. 

The representative, Brian Bumbery, said Cornell's death was "sudden and unexpected" and that Cornell's wife and family were shocked. Cornell's death is being investigated as a possible suicide. 

Social media tributes from fans and fellow musicians poured in overnight. 

A spokesperson for the Detroit police department told the Associated Press that the authorities couldn't release details about why police are investigating Cornell's death as a possible suicide but did say that there were "basic things observed at the scene." 

The spokesperson revealed that Cornell's wife had phoned a friend for the purpose of checking in on Cornell at his hotel. When the friend showed up, he forced the door to Cornell's room open and found the singer on the bathroom floor. 

Cornell was a leading voice in grunge movement in rock in the 1990s. His band, Soundgarden, became one of the biggest bands to emerge from the Seattle music scene. 

Cornell also worked with members of what would become Pearl Jam to form a band called Temple of the Dog, which made a self-titled album in 1991 to honor friend Andrew Wood, former frontman of Mother Love Bone. 

Three years later, Soundgarden broke through into the mainstream, with singles like "Spoonman" and "Black Hole Sun." 

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