Chris Cornell died one year ago today in his Detroit hotel room following his final performance with Soundgarden, and sadly what has followed has been a year filled with ugliness, drama, and conspiracy theories online. Just like with Kurt Cobain, there have been opportunists who have popped up to try to create a new Chris Cornell conspiracy theory business market for themselves. Most of these people are not real fans of Chris, and if you watch their videos they do not even have much knowledge of his career outside of his 90’s hits.
They see an opportunity to prey on vulnerable fans to create a cult like situation to pad their egos and pockets. Many of the conspiracy theorists who have gained modest followings even go after each other as they try to hold onto the cults they have created. The ugliness and attacks will not bring Chris back. When musicians like Chris die, many fans look for someone to blame. They put their favorite singers on pedestals and can’t accept that they had flaws like we all do, and they sadly attack the people left behind.
The insults thrown at members of Chris’ family have been absolutely disgusting, the worst being towards Chris’ youngest daughter Toni. The people making these insults and creating fake conspiracy theories about her ironically enough try to act like they have the moral high ground, yet they go after an innocent 13-year old girl?
Vicky Cornell has received the most abuse out of anyone, with vicious attacks, lies, and photoshops made by people hiding behind anonymity and not willing to show their face. Even if you disagree with some of the ways she has handled Chris’ death in the media, why resort to nasty insults and hide behind anonymity? Why not engage with Vicky in a mature manner on Twitter or Instagram, especially when she has shown a willingness to talk with fans. Before you write some of the vicious things you do, stop and remember that this is a real person who is the mother of two children, not some cartoon character. Chris’ brother Peter and mother Karen have also been attacked, just about everyone in his life that he loved at some point has been a victim of this unfortunately.
There have also been disagreements and infighting within the family that we’ve seen as well, and that we reported on in the past. It has unfortunately continued to this day, and if anything it is getting worse. This is something I can relate to on a smaller level, when somebody dies the way Chris did, there are bound to be tensions within a family. The difference in this case is Chris was a world famous rock star and fans have been able to see a lot of the feuding play out on social media. I don’t know the full story behind the tension nor do I know any of these people that well, so I have empathy for everybody involved. This has led to misperceptions that I am taking sides or trying to push narratives, when I am just reporting what these people say, and I have no interest in attacking any of them. I really wish they could resolve their issues and find peace with each other, and if they can’t do that if they could at least keep some of their issues private. I’m sure there are many fans out there who feel the same way, and want to send their love to everybody involved.
The depression vs. drug relapse debate has also been a source of dissension among fans when it comes to what led to Chris’ death as well. We’ve seen Peter Cornell raise awareness for suicide prevention and Vicky Cornell raise awareness for the opioid epidemic and addiction (Vicky has supported Talinda Bennington’s movements to raise awareness for depression/suicide prevention as well). Some fans have become divided over what causes to get behind, but to me if you’re a fan, why not support raising awareness for anything that helps people? Based on interviews, Chris clearly dealt with depression and addiction (both mental health issues) at different points of his life. Why stigmatize either of them? I’ve spoken to fans who deal with both issues since Chris died, so regardless of what actually led to Chris’ death, why not rally behind great causes to help the fans who are still here dealing with the loss a year later? Instead of arguing the semantics as his family understandably search for answers and great causes to get behind, why not support anything that helps people?
Ultimately I hope as we enter a second year without Chris, everyone left behind can honor him by treating each other with the love and compassion that he beautifully communicated through his music.
For anyone dealing with suicidal thoughts and depression, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
For anyone dealing with drug addiction, visit Narcotics Anonymous’ official website. If you are dealing with alcoholism, an issue that has affected my friends and family, go to Alcoholics Anonymous‘ official website.
We miss you Chris. No one sings like you anymore.