January 11, 2018
Chris’ music has been the soundtrack of my life since the 1990s. Words cannot explain just how much his music meant to me. As an African-American girl growing up in the Midwest, life can be difficult when your first love for music is rock, and not R&B. That’s the power of Chris’ music: it reached across all walks of life, and unified people through song.
I had the privilege of seeing Chris perform live three times. On the Higher Truth tour in Baltimore, I yelled out to him from the audience “we love you, Chris”! As a classic introvert, I have no idea what possessed me to do that, however, I’m grateful that I did. Gracious as always, Chris acknowledged me from the stage. The last time I saw him was November 2016 in NYC for the Temple of the Dog show!! That concert was one of the best that I’ve ever seen. Chris and the band were at peak performance level. It’s a night I won’t forget. Also, whenever I get sad, I can always think about the fact that I’m captured on video right before he launched into River of Deceit.
Chris was talented far beyond words. His ability to connect with his fans was truly a divine element. I will forever miss him. I hope that he truly knew just how much he meant to all of us. Artists like Chris come along once in a lifetime. I’m forever grateful that I had the chance to share the plane with him. To his family, I can’t imagine how this feels for you. I wish you nothing but love and light. Thank you for sharing this beautiful soul with us.
January 6, 2018
For days I’ve been thinking about writing you and for some reason I was not encouraged … it’s strange because I feel so many things … you are always on my mind, there is not a day in my life that does not remind you … your departure was so abrupt and unexpected, so painful, that I still remember you and I cry, I can´t help it … I am overwhelmed by an immense sadness when I think of your family, your children, your wife, your dear friends, so much life ahead… so many things to do, so many questions without answers and this new feeling of melancholy that crosses me at times and that I try to cure with your music, your songs … I find consolation in Sunshower, for example, which is like a balm for me, that comforts me and heals my soul …
I am so grateful to have been in the last concert of your Higher Truth tour, here in Buenos Aires … that you have chosen my city for your last date fills me with pride. It was an honor to receive you and you were given an ecstatic reception, as you deserved, with that passion that characterizes us (as Argentines) so much… I hope you have felt all that love, that you have enjoyed it as much as we did.
Today something beautiful happened to me, I have a 3 year old daughter who already recognizes your voice and your face when I listen to you at home and gives me immense pride, because if there is something that I promised myself, my daughter would know all your legacy … (she already listens to you at times, when she allows me, among her favorite children’s songs) Today in the morning, my daughter was in bed with me, she had taken my cell phone and she was looking at all the family photos I have, without say a single word, she was passing the pictures one by one, while I watched the news on TV.
Suddenly she stopped in a photo of you, (the only one I have in my cell) who I had downloaded from the internet to write you a few words the day of your death, in the photo you are smiling, you look SO happy at the Teatro Colón, with the Flag of Argentina in your hand … And she said with surprise: “Look mom, it’s Chris Cornell, your friend, your BEST friend.” And putting the cell phone in her ear with your picture on the screen, she started the next conversation: “Hello Chris, I’m Delfina, I’m 3 years old, how are you? Do you want to play with me? And as if you were answering, she said “‘I would love it!” Thank you! I send you many kisses!
I did not ask her anything because I did not want her to see my emotion, my tears ran down my face … until that moment I had not realized what day it was … a few hours after this I realized that today was 18…7 months of your absence but in me and in my affections you are more present than ever…
I LOVE YOU FOREVER AND EVER … GRACIAS TOTALES, as we say here in Argentina.
I am 17 years old, and a portrait artist. I am a huge fan of Chris Cornell, Soundgarden, and audioslave. I thought one way to respect him and tribute was to draw a picture capturing him. I loved him and still do, thank you Chris for enlightening me on music and living. RIP my favourite artist.
I have wanted to write something here for the last few months. What put me off was not wanting to intrude upon the grieving process of Chris’ beautiful family. Of course Chris was a public figure but, first and foremost, he was a father, husband, son (in law) and brother. However much his loss has impacted the world, the greatest loss of course is with his family and close friends. However, sitting here today on New Year’s Eve and reflecting as I do each year on memories good and bad from the year gone by, I feel compelled to write something.
On September 18 some years ago I woke up at 6 a.m. on a bright sunny morning to be told my dad had died. No warning, no preparation, no signs. I was ten years old and it blew my world to pieces. I felt like someone had put on a giant steel-capped boot and kicked me as hard as you could ever be kicked – right in the gut. My dad was my world and my life changed irrevocably from that point. Much as I respected my mother my dad was my soulmate – we thought the same, liked the same things and he inspired and motivated me. The lights went out for me after he died.
Back then there was little thought given to the impact of such things on a child and I just tried to pull myself up and get on with it. I think because I didn’t talk about it or process it I managed it especially badly. There were also a lot of financial challenges and as an only child I felt I had to look after my mother. School work suffered and I withdrew. A couple of years later I found that alcohol fixed my pain nicely and set off down the slippery slope of addiction.
The other thing I found at that time was music. Before the days of Spotify or even iTunes, I was somehow led to a band called Soundgarden and fell in love with Ultramega OK. By 1990/91 I was working in the music business and found myself at a show at the Underworld in London when Soundgarden came to play. I will never ever forget that show and how amazing Chris Cornell and the band were. I was fortunate enough to see the band a few times after that but will never ever forget that first time.
Things started to go wrong for me shortly after that. With the benefit of hindsight of course it was inevitable that using substances would not work for long and I slid down into a very dark place that lasted several years. Suicide was a daily thought – not because I wanted to die but because I did not envisage ever being able to find peace. However, on May 18 1999 I got sober and have not had a drink or drug since that day. For me, drinking and music were too interconnected and I had to move away from music. I never stopped loving it but I had to leave the industry and do something else.
When I heard the news about Chris this year my heart snapped in two. I looked at the love of my life lying next to me and wondered how I would feel if he died and thought about how Vicky must feel. But, mostly, I thought of his kids and especially Toni. I guess that was because she was close to my age when I lost my dad. That Chris died on my 18 year sobriety birthday and that my dad died on Toni’s birthday, although a different year, brought an additional chill to it for me.
I have spent the last 15 years working in mental health and addiction because I wanted to do any small thing I could to prevent the loss of life of even one person from these issues. I have no idea what was going through Chris’ mind before he died and it is, quite frankly, none of my business. That is the private affair of his family and loved ones. All I would like to say to them is that whatever happened, EVEN if he did take his own life (and maybe he did not) that does not mean he did not love them. I know from my own experience that both depression and/or medication will alter the mind to the point where IN THAT MOMENT the most crazy things seem right. I don’t believe anyone who dies in this kind of way wants to die or leave their loved ones. Whatever happened, I know they know he loved them and that’s all that matters.
My hope on this New Year’s Eve is that Chris’ family are on the cusp of a better year. That day will never ever leave their minds and hearts as long as they are on this planet. I will not lie – all his kids will always feel his absence – at their first prom, graduation, birthday, marriage, birth of their own kids. They will wonder, as I do every day, what their dad would make of what they are doing or how the world is. That will never go but it will change. The questions also will always be there but I have come to realise that life is not fair and sometimes there are no explanations. Good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to the best people all the time. That is one of the mysteries of the randomness of life.
What will be different for Toni and her siblings is that they are surrounded by love. It won’t bring their dad or the love of Vicky’s life back but the love from their family and Chris’s friends will enable them to do something positive with something awful. What they also have is a catalogue of his work and a host of people who are able to share memories of their dad with them. I hope and pray that all who can support his kids please do so. They will want to hear stories about their dad and to know people who knew him. Please don’t forget them when all the dust has settled. This is a lifetime thing for them. Please don’t ever underestimate how shattering something like this is – especially for a child.
Chris was a beautiful, sensitive, exceptional soul who can never be replaced. I know I have never had such a strong reaction to the loss of someone I did not even know. But his legacy is powerful and his memory eternal.
I pray that all of you – Vicky, Lily, Toni and Chris as well as all extended family and friends have a blessed 2018.
Chris. I’ve been thinking of finding the words to best pay tribute since you passed away in May. Waiting for the right moment when I’d had time to process everything and was ready to sit down without bursting into tears. It finally hit me that, as it has in other areas of my life, that such a “right moment” may never come.
The word hero gets bandied around a lot, but I think of you more as a role model or teacher. I learned a great deal from listening to your music, which has influenced me as a player, singer and songwriter.
Furthermore your music often got me through hard times, and this year has been no exception. As somebody who has experienced anxiety and depression, I often relate to music that may seem dark or bleak to others. Like singing or playing the blues, there’s something cathartic about it. And it reminds me I’m not alone.
I wasn’t well physically or mentally the day of your death, and had been listening heavily to your songs to help me work through things. I was experiencing, not for the first time, thoughts of suicide. To hear the news the morning after was heartbreaking. And yet I couldn’t stop playing those albums. I drew strength from them as I’ve done before, and I feel sure I will continue to do so. I feel I owe you a great debt.
It’s a reassuring thought, the realisation that none of the impact you made in my life or those of others can be taken away. I can see I’m far from the only person whose life you have touched, be it family, friends or other fans like myself, and doubt that you will be forgotten any time soon. I certainly will be remembering you through my own music as long as I’m alive.
Thank you, Chris. For making a difference.
I had the honor of meeting Chris about ten years ago in Dallas. He played 24 songs flawlessly and still took the time to meet with fans. He was so humble in his demeanor, it was something I’ll never forget. He is the best vocalist and songwriter I have ever witnessed.
I never met Chris, and I wish I had the opportunity to meet him. Just to tell him that his music, his voice and his lyrics, the feelings he shared through his songs and screams means to me. As a musician, you sometimes hear more than notes and words. You hear a call, you hear hope and love. I recently heard The Promise for the first time, then I watched the video. I cried all along.
I live in France, where a lot of refugees from Syria are ending up, trying to reach the UK. People have a bad opinion of these men and women. I hope one day, everyone will find it’s a shelter, find a new life, away from war and religion and hate.
Chris is helping. Through his songs, he helps us all.
We love you Chris, you were and still are my biggest influence.
It still doesn’t seem true.
Love and peace May everyone be safe from war and hate.
No one sings like you anymore
I have wanted to write a tribute to Chris since the day he died, but I couldn’t find the words. I still have trouble articulating that he’s gone. I never knew him. Not personally. But I knew his voice. I grew up with his voice. I found comfort in his voice. In his words. In his thoughts. So, for Chris, and for Vicky, and for his kids, I wanted to tell you how much his music meant to me.
I grew up a 90’s kid. My parents were constantly playing music. I remember listening to Soundgarden and Audioslave as we drove around, to and from school, and even as a kid, just thinking “wow, this is a voice I could listen to forever.” You turned on the radio and you knew it was Chris Cornell. He just had that voice that was so different from everything else playing. It was soulful, and beautiful, and unlike anything I had ever heard. I never wanted his records to end. His lyrics were poetry, and his voice was happiness, sorrow, longing, today, tomorrow, everything.
Growing up, my mom and I shared a deep love of his music. We drove for hours across the states to see Soundgarden play in Canada when they reunited in 2011. I remember crossing the border with my mom and just being overjoyed that I could actually catch them live. I had wanted to see them for so long, and they didn’t disappoint. It was one of the best concerts we had ever seen. We talked about it for months after the fact. We got out of the concert and drove 5 hours home that night and we were laughing and giggling like school girls. Nothing mattered in that moment. We were so over the moon to see him perform.
We were lucky enough to catch him again on his solo tour, this time where we lived, in Michigan. We were running late that night so we parked by a church and ran like ten blocks to the theatre just to make it there in time. It was just him and his guitar, and the little red telephone that I later read was given to him by Jeff Buckley. I was captivated. His voice, in that setting, was almost otherworldly. I had never felt such a love and warmth in my heart after going to a concert, and I don’t think I will again.
I went home after that show and learned most of his songs from “Songbook” on my guitar. He inspired me. In short, he just inspired me.
And that’s what I take away, from his passing. There are still so many songs I still can’t listen to without crying. So many things I remember about him that make my breath catch in my throat. But when I needed something, someone, to keep going, his music helped me in ways I’ll never be able to repay. So we keep living. Living for Chris. We keep playing his music, listening to his songs, because that’s what keeps his memory alive. Thank you for making people felt like the had a home in your music. Thank you for inspiring me to play instruments, to keep fighting, to keep living, to keep loving. Thank you, Chris.
Miss you everyday