Toni Cornell Covers Pearl Jam’s Black In Heartfelt Tribute To Her Father, Chris
Toni Cornell, second daughter of late Soundgarden and Audioslave singer Chris Cornell, has performed an unexpected cover of Pearl Jam’s Black as part of the 2020 Lollapalooza livestream. Toni dedicated the song to Chris, who died in 2017.
In June this year, Toni paid tribute to her father as part of a Billboard Instagram takeover. “I’m so grateful that I was lucky enough to have a dad who was also my best friend,” she said. “Music was our life, so it really created a special bond between the two of us, even when we weren’t on the road. Here in this studio, he taught me how to play the guitar, how to record songs.”
Chris bought Toni her first guitar when she was aged 10 or 11, teaching her to play using three fingers while an injury healed. When Toni was 12, she and Chris duetted on a version of the Prince song Nothing Compares 2 U, which raised $20,000 for charity when it was released earlier this year.
In addition to the cover of Black (a central emotional piece on Pearl Jam’s album Ten, first released in 1991), Toni has shared her own solo material, which includes her first single Far Away Places, also produced by Chris. The song was captured in the Cornell family studio in Miami in February 2017, three months before his death.
In an emotional open letter published at the time, Toni wrote that their special connection was always the arts, an unconditional love of poems, books, music and writing.
“I have so many memories with you but one of my favorite ones was earlier this year when I was jetlagged and we watched Purple Rain. We were staying at the BHH and you came into my room when I was trying to find a movie to watch. ‘How about Purple Rain?’ you said. I always trusted your judgement. I put it on and immediately fell in love! We then got to your favorite song, The Beautiful Ones.”
Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder has previously dedicated Black to Chris, saying onstage in Italy in 2017 that “We are many, we are one, and probably all of us at one time have been through the blacks.”
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