Chris Cornell’s widow sues Soundgarden over royalties and unreleased recordings

Vicky Cornell, the widow of Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, has sued his former bandmates over claims of unpaid royalties and the rights to unreleased recordings.

Cornell filed a complaint in a Florida federal court alleging that the rights to several unreleased songs had been breached.

Cornell’s suit takes aim at Soundgarden band members Kim Thayil, Ben Shepard and Matt Cameron, but makes specific reference to comments made by Thayil to SiriusXM Radio. During the interview, which was recorded in November, Thayil said that Soundgarden had been unable to finish and release recordings made by Cornell and the band prior to his death.

In her suit, Vicky Cornell describes Thayil’s comments as an “unlawful attempt to strong-arm Chris’ estate into turning over certain audio recordings created by Chris before he passed away.”

She says the songs in question were “solely authored by Chris; contain Chris’ own vocal tracks; and were bequeathed to Chris’ estate”. She also adds that “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in royalty payments are “indisputably owed” to her and the couple’s children.

In a statement published on her Instagram, Cornell wrote: “This was not the way I would have chosen to move forward. But I will not be pushed aside for someone else’s convenience or gain.

“I will not sacrifice our children’s futures for someone else’s greed. And I will not let someone else make me feel shame because the man I loved was taken from all of us too soon.”

She continued: “I will do justice by my husband’s work and memory; for our children and for everything we stood for. I want to thank everyone who has stood by Chris and has supported us through this devastating time. Your love and your kindness will never be forgotten.”

Cornell was found dead in a Detroit hotel room on 18 May, 2017. A coroner ruled that the cause of death was suicide.

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