Cornell's rep, Brian Bumbery, confirmed to ET on Thursday that Cornell died at age 52. Bumbery said that the musician's wife, Vicky Karayiannis, and family are shocked by the news and asking for privacy.
A source close to Cornell and his wife tells ET that Cornell was "going through a dark period in his life."
"It's so sad. Horrific actually. No one had any idea that Chris was going through a dark period in his life," the source says. "His wife Vicky is absolutely devastated. They were kindred spirits -- so in love."
"Chris was a great father," the source adds. "His children must be crushed."