A five-hour tribute concert for the late Chris Cornell was headlined by acts such as Metallica, the Foo Fighters and Miley Cyrus, who rocked out to the Soundgarden frontman’s music and gave heartfelt speeches in memory of the singer, who took his own life in May of 2017.
Fox News reported that Cornell’s wife, Vickey, stepped onstage and remarked to the fans in attendance, “Chris lives on, a music immortal whose passion for helping others is alive today ever.”
The tribute concert, called “I Am the Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell,” was held on Wednesday night at the Forum in Inglewood, California.
Besides his work with Soundgarden, Cornell succeeded with other projects, including Audioslave, and Temple of the Dog, as well as his successful solo albums.
“This event showcases his contribution to music history across genres and generations,” Vickey Cornell stated. “We all know how music can change us. But Chris did something more extraordinary. He changed music…. That legacy and influence will last for generations to come.”
Jimmy Kimmel hosted the tribute, which was peppered with performances by members of his former bands, Soundgarden and Audioslave, as well as Foo Fighters, Metallica, Ryan Adams, Miley Cyrus, Josh Homme, Fiona Apple, Miguel, Brandi Carlile, The Melvins, Chris Stapleton, Perry Farrell, Peter Frampton, and many more.
“We miss you, Chris,” said Cyrus, who performed “Two Drink Minimum” then later “Say Hello 2 Heaven,” a Temple of the Dog song that was written by Cornell.
Fox reported that Brad Pitt introduced Cornell’s daughter, Toni Cornell, who sang while Ziggy Marley played the guitar; together they performed Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song.”
After Foo Fighters did three renditions of Cornell’s songs, lead singer Dave Grohl stayed on stage for a solo and performed “Everlong.”
Metallica rocked four songs, including covers of Soundgarden’s “All Your Lies” and “Head Injury,” plus their own “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “Master of Puppets,” Their set was preceded by Jack Black and James Hetfield performing a brief but playful impromptu rendition of “One.”
“I woke up sad this morning,” he said. “With all this love, the one person who would appreciate this the most can’t be here tonight. So this song is for him.”
Consequence of Sound reported that the set list for the event was 42-songs long. The site also noted that Faith No More’s Mike Patton had been added to the bill, but had to bow out. Patton was reportedly still under the weather after canceling his national anthem performance at an NFL playoff game over the weekend.
Cornell died at age 52 in May 2017. His death was ruled a suicide.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.