Chris Cornell Cover of Guns N' Roses Song Released in Honor of Late Singer's 56th Birthday
By Zach Seemayer
Buda Mendes/Getty Images
Chris Cornell's estate is honoring his memory with some new music. On what would have been Cornell's 56th birthday, fans are getting the chance to hear a never-before-released cover of Guns N' Roses' famed ballad "Patience."
"His birthday seemed the perfect time to share this and celebrate Chris, his voice, music, stories and art," a message posted to Cornell's Facebook page shared on Sunday. "A man is not dead while his name is still spoken... and, through his art, an artist’s soul still burns as bright upon all those that look up to him and his memory."
The post, written by Cornell's widow, Vicky, explained that "releasing music that was special to Chris keeps a part of him here with us- his heart and his soul. His love and his legacy."
The emotional tribute post also explained that this recording of "Patience" was "inspired by our daughter Toni, who was a huge GNR fan and asked her dad to teach her to play it on the guitar."
"His cover is so hauntingly beautiful; it brought it all back in a rush of bittersweet memories," the tribute shared.
Cornell, best known for his work with Audioslave and Soundgarden, died by suicide in May 2017 at MGM Grand Detroit, following a performance at the Fox Theatre. He was survived by Vicky, as well as their two children, daughter Toni and son Christopher, as well as his daughter Lillian from a previous marriage.
Vicky also posted a tribute to Instagram on Monday -- on the singer's actual birthday -- alongside a video featuring Polaroid snapshots of the rocker with his wife and kids.
"I want to thank everyone who continues to celebrate and keep Chris alive," she wrote. "To all of Chris’s fans, thank you for holding him in your hearts and always sharing your love for Chris with us. I want to thank our children too; for you are a reflection of your father, both his strength and his kindness."
"The memory of your smile still makes my heart, broken as it is, beat as fast as the first time we met," she added. "We love you Chris, Happy Birthday."
Meanwhile, Cornell's children -- Toni and Christopher -- announced that, in recognition of their father's birthday, they have partnered with the Addiction Policy Forum and the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation for a new educational pilot program called Stop the Stigma. This will include a program that will be introduced to several high schools to teach young people how to tackle the stigma surrounding addiction. The pair will also be hosting a podcast about the same social and health issues starting in August, at stop-stigma.org.
"Losing our dad was like losing our universe. We miss him every day. With our father’s memory, and his constant presence in our lives, we are so proud to be working on a project like this that can make a real difference," Toni and Christopher said in a statement regarding the initiative. "His music saved lives and his legacy will continue to do so. No family should have to go through what we did. With this national campaign, we will be able to give people and kids what they need to better understand addiction, the stigma that surrounds it, and how we can work together to end it."
For more on Cornell's life and indelible musical legacy, see the video below.
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).