The years-long legal battle between Chris Cornell's (1964-2017) widow, Vicky Cornell, and his former Soundgarden bandmates has come to an end. Both parties shared a statement on Instagram on Monday, announcing an "amicable out-of-court settlement" after years of back-and-forth. It also announced the release of previously unheard material recorded by Chris Cornell before his death in May 2017.
"Soundgarden and Vicky Cornell are pleased to announce, on behalf of Chris Cornell's legacy, that they have reached an amicable, out-of-court settlement. The reconciliation marks a new partnership between the two parties, making it possible for Soundgarden fans around the world will be able to hear the final songs that the band and Chris were working on," the statement said. The two parties come together "to advance, honor and build on the incredible legacy of Soundgarden and Chris' indelible mark on music history as one of the greatest songwriters and singers of all time."
Vicky Cornell first sued Soundgarden in 2019 for royalties and the rights to seven unreleased songs. At the time, the band argued that the songs belonged to the group as they had been recorded in preparation for a new Soundgarden album.
Then, in 2021, Vicky filed a lawsuit seeking a court appraisal of her late husband's interest in the band and associated properties, believing that the $300,000 settlement Soundgarden offered her in October 2020 was "ridiculously low".
Months later, Soundgarden responded in court, accusing Vicky of "aggressively trying to tarnish the Soundgarden legacy... and the reputation of the surviving band members who loved Cornell like a brother".
Vicky and the "Black Hole Sun" singer married in 2004. The couple had their daughter Toni (18) and their son Christopher (17). Cornell was also the father of daughter Lillian, 22, from a previous relationship. The US musician took his own life on May 18, 2017.
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