(27 May 2017) MUSIC'S ELITE AND CELEBRITIES GATHERED TO HONOR CHRIS CORNELL
Music's elite and Hollywood stars remembered Chris Cornell at a somber memorial service Friday (26 MAY) that focused on the Soundgarden frontman's love of family and friends as much as it did on his musical achievements as one of rock's leading voices.
"Chris was as melodic as The Beatles, as heavy as Sabbath and as haunting as Edgar Allan Poe," Tom Morello, Cornell's Audioslave bandmate, said during his eulogy.
Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington and guitarist Brad Delson performed Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" for the crowd of mourners, including Brad Pitt, Pharrell Williams, James Franco, Christian Bale and numerous members of rock royalty, many of whom were moved to tears.
Four large portraits of Cornell were on display on a dais where Morello, actor Josh Brolin, Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament, film producer Eric Esrailian and Cornell's Soundgarden bandmates Kim Thayil and Matt Cameron delivered eulogies under overcast skies at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
They all spoke of the rocker's compassion and his delight in his three children. Cameron said he and Cornell had "so many normal dad conversations" about the Cornell kids: Christopher, Toni and Lily.
Linda Ramone opened the service with word that Cornell was buried next to her late husband, punk rocker Johnny Ramone, whose headstone features a statue of him playing guitar.
Cornell's music played before the hourlong service, and afterward as guests visited his grave site in the Garden of Legends section of Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Among those paying respects were Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield of Metallica, Dave Navarro and Perry Farrell of Jane's Addiction, singer-songwriter Joe Walsh, guitarist Nile Rodgers, rocker Courtney Love and Bush's Gavin Rossdale.
Cornell, 52, was pronounced dead May 18 after he was found unresponsive in a Detroit hotel room hours after performing a concert with Soundgarden. Coroner's officials said preliminary autopsy results show the singer hanged himself, but full toxicology results remain pending. The singer's family has disputed the findings and claim Cornell may have taken more of an anti-anxiety drug than he was prescribed.
The Seattle native was a leading voice of the grunge movement in the 1990s. Besides Soundgarden, he scored hits as a solo artist and with bands Temple of the Dog and Audioslave.
He is survived by his wife and three children.
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