METALLICA bassist Robert Trujillo has paid tribute to Chris Cornell, calling him “one of the ultimate voices in rock music.”
The SOUNDGARDEN singer was pronounced dead on May 18 after being found unresponsive in his Detroit hotel room the previous night. SOUNDGARDEN had played a show earlier that evening.
The 52-year-old had sedatives and an anxiety drug in his system on the night he died by hanging himself. According to a completed toxicology report released by Michigan’s Wayne County Medical Examiner, the drugs didn’t contribute to the cause of death.
Speaking to KFMX deejay Driver before METALLICA‘s June 11 concert in Houston, Texas, Trujillo stated about Cornell‘s passing (see video below): “I was really surprised by the loss of Chris Cornell, one of the ultimate voices in rock music, hands down. It’s sad because with Chris… I didn’t know him very well — I knew him, but I didn’t hang out with him — but when I did see him or talk to him, he was always very reserved. And one thing about people, especially creative people, that can be reserved, you never know what’s going on inside. And I guess that’s why, for me, I always try to generally get a… if I’m working with them, to get a connection and see if I can help, because you never know what’s going on, man. And that situation is very, very unfortunate, especially when you have kids and a family. So it’s tough, it’s sad, and, obviously, there was some really intense stuff going on inside of him.”
Cornell‘s toxicology report revealed that the isnger had Naloxone a.k.a. Narcan, a sedative called Butalbital, Lorazepam a.k.a. Ativan, a decongestant called Pseudoephedrine and barbiturates in his system when he was found dead. He also had caffeine in his body from No-Doz tablets he had ingested prior to his death.
Cornell had four doses of the anxiety medication Ativan in his system. The medical examiner noted that while the level in his blood was higher than the average dosage, it was lower than the amount associated with those whose deaths have been tied to the drug, which can cause suicidal thoughts.
Reports that Cornell had needle marks on his left arm proved true — but the punctures were from EMTs who administered Narcan in an attempt to revive him.
In a statement issued following the release of the report, Cornell‘s wife Vicky said: “Many of us who know Chris well noticed that he wasn’t himself during his final hours and that something was very off. We have learned from this report that several substances were found in his system. After so many years of sobriety, this moment of terrible judgment seems to have completely impaired and altered his state of mind. Something clearly went terribly wrong and my children and I are heartbroken and are devastated that this moment can never be taken back.”
She added: “We very much appreciate all of the love we have received during this extremely difficult time and are dedicated to helping others in preventing this type of tragedy.”
Vicky Cornell had previously questioned the medical examiner’s conclusion that her husband committed suicide.
Chris was laid to rest on May 26 at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles.