Chris Cornell was a winner at the 2019 Grammy Awards. The late Soundgarden frontman, who died in May 2017, was honored by his children Toni and Christopher at the 61st Grammys as they accepted the award for Best Rock performance on his behalf. Cornell’s widow, Vicky, stood to the side of the stage and watched her kids’ emotional acceptance speech, which you can see below.
Chris Cornell won the Best Rock Performance Grammy for his song “When Bad Does Good,” which was released posthumously as part of a four-disc retrospective box set compiled by his widow last year. Cornell’s “When Bad Does Good” was up against Arctic Monkeys, Greta Van Fleet, Hailstorm and Fever 333 for the Best Rock Grammy. After the late Seattle singer’s win was announced, his kids took the stage to read emotional speeches that left them choked up at times.
Chris Cornell’s 13-year-old son, Christopher, spoke first, according to Rolling Stone, saying he and his sister “never thought we would be standing here without my dad.” Christopher described his father as “a rock icon, the Godfather of grunge and a creator of a movement.” But while he touted his father’s musical achievements, the younger Cornell said the late singer will best be known as a wonderful father.
“While he touched the hearts of millions, the most important thing he is known for us is for being the greatest father and our hero.”
Chris Cornell’s 14-year-old daughter, Toni, added that her father’s voice “was his vision and his music was his peace” and she thanked her mother Vicky for continuing to carry out Chris Cornell’s legacy.
According to Variety, Toni Cornell told reporters her father’s third Grammy win was “bittersweet.” Cornell’s daughter said her father had worked so hard on his music and was proud of it and that it was “sad he couldn’t be there” to accept his award.
Chris Cornell previously won two Grammy Awards when he was part of Soundgarden nearly 25 years ago. In 1995, the alternative rockers won the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance for “Spoonman” and Best Hard Rock Performance for “Black Hole Sun.”
But 2019’s “When Bad Does Good” is by far the most meaningful win for the Cornell family. Chris Cornell’s son even portrayed his late father in the powerful music video for the song when it was released last fall. The Kevin Kerslake-directed video featured Christopher Cornell bicycling through the streets of Seattle and making stops at Sub Pop Records, the Space Needle, and other Seattle landmarks in homage to his father’s legacy.
Chris Cornell died by suicide in May 2017, leaving behind an archive of unfinished and unreleased music, including “When Bad Does Good.” Cornell’s wife later decided to share the powerful song with his fans through the Chris Cornell Estate, according to Yahoo Entertainment.
You can see Chris Cornell’s kids accepting his posthumous Grammy Award in the video below.