The singer was discovered in his MGM Grand Detroit hotel room "with a band around his neck" by a family friend, the Detroit Free Press reported, after Cornell's wife requested he check on him.
Both Soundgarden and Audioslave have returned to the music scene in recent years, with Cornell still in the lead.
Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell has died at 52, his publicist said on Thursday, and police in Detroit said they are treating the death as a possible suicide. According to the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office, the singer hung himself. He ended his performance with a cover of Led Zeppelin's "In My Time of Dying".
Soundgarden disbanded in 1997 and grunge reached its twilight shortly thereafter, fading by the end of the 1990s.
It was with Soundgarden, who formed in 1984, that Cornell first became known, as they grew out of the Seattle grunge scene to become one of the biggest bands on the planet.
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Tells (Wilfried) Zaha to go slow, leaves (Christian) Benteke at home. "They showed me they want to be an option for the final". I never saw that with Chelsea, I never saw that with Manchester United , I never saw that with Manchester City a year ago .
That isn't the only evidence suggesting Chris may have meant to end his life.
Later, Cornell and Soundgarden reunited and in 2012 released the band's sixth studio album, King Animal. Just hours before he was set to perform, Cornell had tweeted his excitement for the set that night. They retained their raw energy, and, most importantly, Cornell never lost his handsome and wrenching growl.
In 2001, Cornell joined Audioslave, a supergroup that included former Rage Against the Machine members Tom Morello, Brad Wilk and Tim Commerford. Featuring the Grammy-nominated "Like a Stone", the band's debut album achieved triple platinum status. Soundgarden vocalist, Audioslave and Temple of the Dog, also had a solo career more than attractive.
Cornell also praised the crowd at the Fox Theatre in Detroit saying, "I have bragged about Detroit crowds for 30 years.there's no other crowd that never, ever disappoints".
Cornell is survived by his second wife, Vicky Karayiannis, with whom he has a young son and daughter.