Chris Cornell: Cause of Death Revealed?

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This morning, the world woke to the news that legendary Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell had died unexpectedly at the age of 52. 

How, we know the tragic reason why.

Chris Cornell Singing

Many fans initially believed that substance abuse played a role in the singer's death.

Given Cornell's past struggles with alcoholism and prescription pill addiction - as well as the assumptions we tend to make about rock stars who pass before their time - this may not have been far-fetched, but it also isn't necessarily true.

TMZ is reporting this morning that the cause of Cornell's death does not appear to be related to substance abuse.

According to the site, Cornell died of an apparent suicide.

While there's been no official word from medical examiners investigating the case, police reports do seem to indicate that grunge-era icon took his own life.

TMZ claims to have confirmed with the Detroit Police Department that a family friend stopped by Cornell's hotel room after receiving a panicked call from the singer's wife.

The friend reportedly became concerned after knocking several times and receiving no response.

Chris Cornell

The unnamed friend forced his way into the room and found Cornell non-responsive with a "band around his neck."

Cornell's representative, Brian Bumberry, has stated only that the father of three's death was “sudden and unexpected."

He added that it came as a "complete shock" to his family.

Just hours before his passing, Cornell tweeted several upbeat messages about his excitement for playing a sold out show in Detroit.

Like so many in his profession, Cornell battled substance abuse issues throughout much of his life, but has reportedly been sober since checking into rehab in 2003.

"It’s interesting. I’m learning that I can be teachable at age 38,” he told Spin magazine shortly after completing the program.

“I actually like rehab a lot. It’s like school."

Chris Cornell Photo

“I would sometimes drink before we played. It wasn’t a big deal. It became a bigger deal when I stopped doing the other things I liked to do."

He added:

"I used to ride mountain bikes around with my friends, and we’d keep 40-ouncers where the water bottle was supposed to be."

"But once I removed the mountain and the bike, there was just the drinking.”

Cornell was one of the rock world's most beloved figures, and social media tributes from family, friends, and his legion of fans began pouring in within minutes of the news of his death.

Have a look at a sampling of those below.

UPDATE: TMZ reports that Cornell's death has been ruled a suicide by hanging by the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office.

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