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In a statement to The Associated Press, Brian Bumbery says Cornell died today in Detroit.
Bumbery called the death "sudden and unexpected" and said his wife and family were shocked by it.
The statement said the family would be working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause and asked for privacy.
Cornell's last social media post came earlier today when he tweeted about about Soundgarden's show in Detroit.
In 2015, Cornell performed at Auckland's ASB Theatre, where according to our reviewer he "looked every inch the towering Grunge God".
And just last month, Cornell appeared on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
As the lead singer for Seattle-based Soundgarden, Cornell helped architect the 90's grunge rock movement.
He was also a Grammy award-winning, Golden Globe nominated singer, songwriter, guitarist, composer and lyricist.
In addition, Cornell became involved in philanthropy and started the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation to support children facing challenges, including homelessness, poverty, abuse and neglect.