It’s been six months since we lost Chris Cornell, and it still hurts a lot. We lost Chester Bennington shortly after as well, and Tom Petty about a month and a half ago. It hasn’t been a good year for rock and roll. But, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is approaching. And with that, I would like to express how personally pissed off I am that Soundgarden was not nominated, but LL Cool J was. Chris was one of the greatest musicians of all time, and Radiohead got the Rolling Stone cover in June AND the RRHOF nomination over Soundgarden.
And with that, we can only hope that Soundgarden will be nominated and inducted in 2019. The obvious bittersweet thing about it will be his absence. He will not be there to perform, but if Soundgarden’s surviving members choose to perform with guest singers like Nirvana in 2014, someone else will have to step in (or if it’s solely a special guest performing with the surviving Soundgarden members only giving an acceptance speech). Chris Cornell left some pretty damn big shoes to fill, so it would not be easy choosing the right voice to sing his songs in his honor. This article is a list of people who, for several different reasons, could potentially fill in for his performance when they are inducted. It is not in any way saying that these singers sound like him, because let’s be real – no one does, and no one ever will. He was the best. These are people who, because of their style, their voice, or their passion, would make a good fit. Someone who would make Chris really proud.
Jeff Gutt was recently named the new singer for Stone Temple Pilots. His voice is very true to Stone Temple Pilots’ original sound, and he is a great fit. He has an incredible voice, and having covered several Alice In Chains songs amazingly, he would do well singing a Soundgarden song or two.
Disturbed frontman David Draiman has an extremely unique voice, full of power and grit. Disturbed’s cover of “Sound of Silence” demonstrated his versatility as a singer, which is necessary to cover anything of Chris Cornell’s.
Shinedown’s Brent Smith range and rasp would be a good fit to sing Soundgarden songs. Shinedown dedicated their performance of “Simple Man” at Shaun Morgan’s Rise Above Fest to Chris in honor of suicide awareness.
Alice In Chains’ current singer William DuVall was chosen to fill in the shoes for Layne Staley and take over as their frontman. Layne was regarded as one of the top vocalists of his time, along with Chris. If DuVall can sing Alice In Chains, he can definitely tackle Soundgarden songs.
Taylor Momsen of The Pretty Reckless is a huge fan of Soundgarden. She idolized Chris and it reflects in her music and overall demeanor onstage. The Pretty Reckless actually opened for Soundgarden on what would be their last tour before Chris’ untimely passing, giving Momsen the chance to live out one of her biggest dreams. When Alternative Nation interviewed her in April 2017, she was ecstatic that her band was going to have that chance. Their live performance of “Like a Stone” at their shows following his death were heart-wrenching as Momsen could barely keep it together while singing the song. She would put her entire heart and soul into filling in the shoes for Chris for a performance if Soundgarden were to be inducted.
Shaun Morgan of Seether looks and sounds tough, but is actually a very sweet and emotional guy. He is extremely humble about his vocal talent, but is passionate about rock and roll and sending a message. He hosted his fifth Rise Above Fest this year in support of suicide awareness, donating all proceeds to the cause. During Seether’s performance at several Monster Energy festivals following Chris’s death, he stopped the crowd and asked them to have a moment of silence for him. For a voice that delivers raw strength, Shaun Morgan is it.
Slipknot/Stone Sour singer Corey Taylor is one of the more prominent voices in modern rock and roll. His voice can go from tender and soft to rigid and rough, which is perfect for Soundgarden songs. Stone Sour performed “Outshined” at a Rock on the Range kickoff party the night following Chris’ passing, and then he played “Hunger Strike” during a tribute to Chris at the festival the next day.
Dave Grohl of Nirvana and Foo Fighters was friends with Chris Cornell. They both blossomed into extremely successful and talented musicians coming out of the early 90’s Seattle scene. Grohl has a powerful voice of his own, and would be able to incorporate a lot of emotion into a performance since the loss was very personal to him.
Let’s be real, Lzzy Hale has one of the best rock and roll voices – ever. Her range and power together are inimitable as she’s covered vocalists like Robert Plant, Whitney Houston, Axl Rose, and David Coverdale. She’s also covered Chris Cornell several times, having done “Hunger Strike” and “Fell on Black Days” on recording and “Black Hole Sun” at a tribute event in Nashville after his passing. She performed “Fell on Black Days” at the Loudwire Music Awards to honor him, and stated in an Instagram post the day of his death about the profound influence he had on her to approach the microphone. She is compassionate and humble, which are the types of traits Chris shared as well, so he would be very proud to have her sing his songs for him.
There would not be a better person to sing Chris’ songs in his honor at the induction ceremony. Chris was one of his oldest friends, actually helping Vedder get established in the music scene. They performed together countless times onstage, and were always publicly affectionate about their friendship. Vedder has not spoken out much about Chris’s passing since, because it has obviously had such a profound effect on him. He would deliver an utmost emotional performance singing Soundgarden songs, especially since he is one of the last remaining frontmen of the big 90’s bands. Can you imagine him doing “Hunger Strike”?
Rock in peace, Chris. We miss you.