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Scoop: ’90s grunge rocker icon Chris Cornell dies at 52

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Chris Cornell of Soundgarden performs on April 29, 2016, at Welcome to Rockville Festival at Metropolitan Park, Jacksonville, Fla. Cornell was found dead Thursday in Detroit. (RMV/Zuma Press/TNS)
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Chris Cornell, an icon of the ’90s hard rock grunge movement and the anchor of Soundgarden and Audioslave, was never quiet about his need to perform.

The artist’s death at age 52 was reported early Thursday after a Wednesday night Soundgarden concert in Detroit.

The Wayne County medical examiner’s office has ruled Cornell’s death a suicide by hanging, according to the Associated Press.

Cornell had said he would have led a much quieter life if not for the stage.

“If I didn’t do what I do, I think for the most part I would have very few friends and be a shut-in most of the time,” he told The Times in 1991. “It’s sort of a battle between that person and then the guy that wants to just let it all out in front of 2,000 people and rant and scream and say anything he wants.”

Over the following decades, those few thousand fans would become millions as Soundgarden, with Cornell, became one of the most commercially successful rock bands of a generation. Among the band’s biggest hits were “Rusty Cage,” “Jesus Christ Pose,” “Spoonman” and “Black Hole Sun.”

In a statement to The Times, Cornell’s publicist Brian Bumbery wrote that Cornell’s wife and family “were shocked to learn of his sudden and unexpected passing.”

GOAPELE’S BACK

Gorgeous Oakland soul singer Goapele, excited about her new EP “Dreamseeker,” held a listening party Wednesday at the Hawthorn in The City, doing a few tunes, including “Secret,” but also inviting guests to “be free, mingle and chill.”

The artist, who appears this weekend at Yoshi’s to officially introduce the album, was proud to collaborate with Bay Area musicians, and said it represents “coming back to my roots.”

FOREVER IN BLUE JEANS

In honor of the 144th anniversary of 501 jeans, Levi’s is celebrating 501 Day on Saturday at its hometown flagship store on Market Street. There will be new product (limited edition jeans, vest and shorts) along with a limited supply of custom 501 Day T-shirts (starting around 2:30 p.m.) as well as the chance to win tickets to see Vince Staples in the evening at The Chapel.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Singer Sam Smith is 25. … Comedian Michael Che is 34. … Singer-actress-model Grace Jones is 65. … Musician Pete Townshend is 72. … Actor Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca in “Star Wars”) is 73. … TV personality David Hartman is 82. … PBS newscaster Jim Lehrer is 83.

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