A rep for the musician revealed that his wife and family were shocked by his ‘sudden and unexpected’ death on Wednesday night.
Cornell passed away in Detroit after performing a sold out show with Soundgarden at the Fox Theatre.
His representative, Brian Bumbery, said in a statement to Associated Press that the the family would be working closely with the medical examiner to establish the cause of death and asked for privacy.
Before his gig, the singer tweeted excitedly:
Cornell found fame as the singer of Seattle rockers Soundgarden and went on to form the supergroup Audioslave along with members of rock band Rage Against the Machine.
The musician also co-wrote the theme song ‘You Know My Name’ with composer David Arnold to James Bond film Casino Royale (2006).
He received a Golden Globe Award nomination for the track ‘The Keeper’ which appeared in the film Machine Gun Preacher (2011).
Soundgarden, who enjoyed a string of hits including ‘Black Hole Sun’ and ‘Spoonman’, are credited with creating grunge along with bands like Nirvana after forming in 1984.
As of 2012, the band have sold over 22 million albums worldwide and have won two Grammy awards.
They reformed in 2010 after disbanding in 1997 and have been working on new material ever since.
Cornell was married to Vicky Karayiannis and is survived by his three children Lillian, 17 (his daughter with first wife Susan Silver), Toni, 12, and Christopher, 11.