The family of musician Chris Cornell, who was found dead in his Detroit hotel room, issued a statement through an attorney refuting “inferences that Chris knowingly and intentionally” killed himself.
The family said that without toxicology tests completed, they can’t be sure what led to his death, or if any substances were involved. According to lawyer Kirk Pasich, Cornell had a prescription for the anti-anxiety drug Ativan, which he said has various side effects.
Cornell’s wife, Vicky Cornell, said in the statement that when she spoke to her husband after the Detroit show, he told her he may have taken “an extra Ativan or two” and was slurring his words.
The medical examiner in Detroit said that Cornell killed himself by hanging after performing at a concert. Police told two Detroit newspapers that the singer was found with a band around his neck.
Chris Cornell, one of the most lauded and respected contemporary lead singers in rock music with his bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, hanged himself on Wednesday in a Detroit hotel room, according to the city’s medical examiner. He was 52.
The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office said on Thursday it completed the preliminary autopsy on Cornell, but that “a full autopsy report has not yet been completed.” Police told two Detroit newspapers that the singer was found with a band around his neck.
Cornell’s death stunned his family and his die-hard fans, who Cornell just performed for hours earlier at a show in Detroit. He was found dead at the MGM Grand Detroit hotel by a family friend.
His final performance
According to an opinion piece by Detroit-based writer Ashley Zlatopolsky published on USA Today, Cornell wasn’t himself during his last performance in Detroit.
In the piece Zlatopolsky says it seemed as though “Cornell wasn’t mentally present” and that he at times missed words to songs and staggered back and forth on stage.
See a video of Cornell performing Black Hole Sun for the last time here:
It does seem like it wasn’t all bad during his last performance, as Zlatopolsky says he did give his all on songs such as Fell on Black Days and the encore, Slaves & Bulldozers.
See the performance of Slaves and Bulldozers here: