Chris Cornell‘s longtime manager, Ron Laffitte, says that the SOUNDGARDEN fronman “must have been out of his right mind” to have committed suicide just hours after performing with the band in Detroit on May 17.
The singer was pronounced dead on May 18 after being found unresponsive in his Detroit hotel room.
A full autopsy and results of toxicology tests are pending, although Cornell‘s wife has said he may have taken more of an anti-anxiety drug than he was prescribed. His family issued a statement last week questioning whether his death by hanging was intentional and if “substances contributed to his demise.”
Speaking to CNN, Laffitte said: “Nobody saw this coming, his bandmates didn’t see this coming. It’s totally out of character for the Chris that I’ve known and worked with for the last ten years. It’s incredibly bizarre. I have to think that something threw him off the tracks … he must have been out of his right mind.”
Laffitte told CNN that he last spoke to Cornell on the afternoon of his death when they discussed plans for Chris to perform at the 2017 Global Citizens Music Festival this September in New York. “He was just really excited about this specific idea that we were going to do,” Laffitte recalled. “He said, ‘We aren’t just going to make pop history with this one, brother. We are going to make real history.’ I would say the last couple of months, he was as optimistic and happy as I can ever recall him… He was so excited about all these things and a new record we were going to put out in the fall.”
Cornell took Ativan for anxiety, with his family’s lawyer suggesting last week that side effects of the drug have been linked to suicidal feelings.
Cornell‘s remains were cremated on Tuesday (May 23), with a private funeral service scheduled for Friday (May 26) at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles. After 3:00 p.m. local time on Friday, following the private ceremony, the public is welcome to visit the gravesite.