There's tragedy for the music industry as it's announced that grunge legend Chris Cornell has passed away suddenly at the age of 52 while on tour this week. The cause of death is yet to be announced, but it was most certainly an unexpected and harrowing turn of events.

Chris Cornell performing in Manchester in 2016Chris Cornell performing in Manchester in 2016

The former frontman of seminal Seattle grunge band Soundgarden died yesterday (May 17th 2017) while in Detroit following a show at the Fox Theatre. The band were due to perform at Rock On The Range festival in Columbus, Ohio tomorrow night (May 19th) and they had a string of other North American dates with the last being Rocklahoma Festival on May 27th.

Announcing the news was Chris' representative Brian Bumbery, who described the event as 'sudden and unexpected' in a statement to the associated press. His family is currently working with the medical examiner to determine exactly what caused the singer's death. 

Born in Seattle, Chris broke into the grunge scene with his band Soundgarden in the 90s, releasing their first successful album 'Badmotorfinger' in 1991. That was followed by the number one record 'Superunknown' in 1994 which featured the Grammy winning singles 'Black Hole Sun' and 'Spoonman'.

Chris went solo after the band broke up in 1997, releasing four albums entitled 'Euphoria Morning', 'Carry On', 'Scream' and 'Higher Truth'. In 2001 he formed the supergroup Audioslave with Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk from Rage Against The Machine. They split in 2007 after three hit albums, but there were talks earlier this year of a reunion. Soundgarden reformed in 2010 and in 2012 released ther first album in sixteen years 'King Animal'. 

Other projects that Chris was involved with was the 80s Western swing group Center for Disease Control Boys (pre-Soundgarden), and Temple of the Dog which was formed in honour of the late Mother Love Bone frontman Andrew Wood. The latter toured in 2016 for the 25th anniversary of their first and only self-titled album. 

A number of stars have reached out to express their grief over Chris' passing on social media. 'Sad 2 hear of Chris Cornell passing... great singer and artist... another blow. RIP', Billy Idol Tweeted, while SouthGang's Butch Walker posted: 'Chris Cornell. One of the greatest voices in rock n roll history. Helped inspire me to evolve and change musically. I'm so sad. RIP BUDDY..'

The last post on the singer's Instagram arrived yesterday as a short video clip for the Soundgarden song 'By Crooked Steps'. The clip was ominously captioned with the song's lyrics: 'I'm the shape of the hole Inside your heart'.

More: Temple Of The Dog celebrate their 25th anniversary

Chris Cornell is survived by his wife Vicky Karayiannis and three children 12-year-old Toni, 11-year-old Christopher Nicholas and 16-year-old daughter Lillian Jean - the latter from his first marriage to Susan Silver.