Chris Cornell’s Widow Sues Soundgarden Over Unfinished Songs, Unpaid Royalties

Vicki Cornell, the widow of the late Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, is suing the surviving members of Soundgarden. TMZ reports that Vicky Cornell has filed legal documents claiming that her husband’s bandmates are withholding thousands of dollars in owed royalties and disputing the rights to seven unreleased songs.

In the legal documents, Vicky claims that these seven songs were “solely authored by Chris; contain Chris’ own vocal tracks; and were bequeathed to Chris’ Estate.” She wants to release the songs, and she says that she’s offered to share the recordings with Soundgarden. She would like to finish the releases in a way that Chris would have wanted, and she claims that the band has refused. The documents call Soundgarden’s refusal an “unlawful attempt to strong-arm Chris’ Estate into turning over certain audio recordings created by Chris before he passed away.”

Vicky also claims that Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil has falsely claimed that she, Vicky, is the main obstacle to the release of a final Soundgarden album, which misleads Soundgarden’s “loyal, rabid fan base.” According to TMZ, the band disputes the claim that Chris Cornell worked on all seven songs solo. They say that they were working on the song files collaboratively and that Soundgarden members are attempting to claim co-writing credits on five of the seven songs.

Chris Cornell died by suicide in 2017 in a Detroit hotel room; he’d performed with Soundgarden in the city earlier that night. Cornell’s family has already sued Cornell’s doctor, claiming that the doctor overprescribed drugs to Cornell.