Christopher and Toni Cornell
Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
Chris Cornell's Children Discuss Their Father's Musical Legacy: "It Was His Passion"
In perhaps the most bittersweet moment of the 61st GRAMMY Awards, late rock icon Chris Cornell won Best Rock Performance posthumously for his captivating song "When Bad Does Good." Cornell's family was in attendance, and his daughter Toni and son Christopher accepted the award on his behalf.
"I never thought we would be standing here without my dad," Christopher said during their acceptance speech at the GRAMMY Premiere Ceremony. "I'm sure he would be proud and honored. He was a rock icon, the Godfather of grunge and a creator of a movement. While he touched the hearts of millions, the most important thing he is known for, for us, is for being the greatest father and our hero."
"His voice was his vision and his music was his peace," Toni added, before thanking her mother, Vicky, who compiled the four-disc retrospective box-set containing "When Bad Does Good." "Thank you to our mom — his love, his muse and his savior who continues to carry out our father's legacy ... this is for you, daddy."
Backstage at the 61st GRAMMYs, our own one-on-one interview host Ted Stryker got the chance to speak with Toni and Christopher after their father's GRAMMY win. Stryker, who had spoken with Chris Cornell many times in the past, asked Toni and Christopher how it felt to accept the award on their father's behalf.
"He was always working so hard. It was his passion," Toni told Stryker backstage. "To see him win is so rewarding but at the same time, I wish he was here."
While Cornell's incredible legacy as a songwriter, vocalist and musician looms large, his children also offered insight on his role as a father.
"He was always there," Toni continued. "There was never a time he wasn't there. Even when he was on tour, we would always speak to him. He was just so hands-on, and he always made sure we were okay, that we were safe, and of course with our mom involved, too. He was such an involved father, and I think that's the worst part about everything that's happened."
Cornell passed away on May 17, 2017. Just last month, the star-studded tribute concert I Am The Highway was held in Los Angeles featuring performances by Fiona Apple, Brandi Carlile, Miley Cyrus, Foo Fighters, Josh Homme, Adam Levine, Ziggy Marley, Metallica, Miguel, and Chris Stapleton.
Cornell has 16 total career GRAMMY nominations and his posthumous win at this year's GRAMMY marked the third of his illustrious career, the first two coming at the 37th GRAMMY Awards for 1994 when Soundgarden took home Best Hard Rock Performance for "Black Hole Sun" and Best Metal Performance for "Spoonman."