Chris Cornell’s Death One Year Later: Why The Ugly Drama Needs To End


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.

Click here for information on the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation.

We miss you Chris. No one sings like you anymore.

  • Danielle

    Yes the ugly drama does need to stop, and yes I understand there have been cruel attacks on Vicky, but she also needs to understand that she has not been perfect either nor her mother.

  • Allison Auld

    Anyone who would attack either of those beautiful children are pieces of garbage.

    • Olga Stewart

      I have no problem with the children.

      If anything, I have always wished that during this time that they could have been protected.

      I know that Lily has by Susan. But I don’t feel the same way about both Toni and Chris Jr.

      In fact, my whole issue is the behaviour of Vicky, her mother, and the minions. They have not helped. And if anything, they have made things worse.

      All I wish for them is both be quiet and to take care of those children.

      But of course if you speak your mind on this site, you get comments deleted.

      So be it. But that is how I will always feel.

  • karen

    Well said

  • walvoreen

    I mean, I don’t necessarily think people should pander to the crazy conspiracy theorist nuts, but why can’t we have a conversation about the death of Chris, as well as Kurt Cobain, and other people?? Things happen in this life, that can sometimes be questionable. I don’t see a problem with questioning things.

    • Nicola

      if you question things here, you may well get your comment removed lol

      • Olga Stewart

        Then I am so getting my comment removed.

  • Raj
  • Eddie Yarler

    I was never as big a fan of Chris Cornell as I was for Scott Weiland or Layne Staley but there was always a familiarity to him. In spite of the fact that Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple of the Dog and his solo work never captured me like the prior artists, there was always a security that came with Chris Cornell’s work. Maybe it was knowing someone can be so energetic and productive in their early 50s. Or maybe it was knowing that there would always be some sense of quality on any release he put out. Or maybe it was just how powerful and beautiful his voice was. I Am the Highway is an irrefutable masterpiece. My overall point is, that security is now gone. I said it when he died, and I’ll say it again, losing Chris Cornell is like losing a queen in chess. To think Chester followed him so shortly after is horrifying.

    Rest easy Chris. The world is worse off without you. I will always hate that Mike, Barrett, Duff and Chris never made a Mad Season/Disinformation esque album together.

    • Kay B

      Good comment.

  • N.

    Isn’t this site to blame for that? You’ve been feeding off of his death for a year now with click bait articles day after day.

    It’s been a year now. The guy is dead. Move on.

  • Gary Reilly

    This article is on point.

    Whether you like Vicky or not, and whether you have your own theories about what happened Chris or not …………………………… some people seem to think that internet anonymity allows them to act without basic decorum or respect.

    Within a couple of weeks of his death, I saw some ghouls on Twitter attacking Vicky and then subsequently posting photos of a guy who they claimed was ‘Toni’s real father’. And they did this in the name of ‘finding out the truth about Chris’, as if they were doing some favour to him and there was an excuse for their trolling. What kind of sicko thinks a 12yr old girl needs to read question marks over her parentage within a fortnight of losing her father?

    Just remember, what goes around comes around.

    • Olga Stewart

      And what goes around not only applies to those who did it but also those who started it.

      • Georgia Roberts

        You seriously need to get a life.

        • Olga Stewart

          Like my life is any of your business.

  • Olga Stewart

    Bret, this is an incredibly difficult day for quite a lot of us here.

    And yet, you decide to come on here and tell us off for being honest in our feelings about what Vicky and her family has done?

    Also, do you realize by posting every single one of those articles about both Vicky and her family, that you have contributed to this?

    As far as I’m concerned, you are no better than Vicky and her family. And so, to post such an article is hypocrisy at its best.

    I know Chris was human. A human who made mistakes. But who also tried to make up for them.

    I also know that he had a good heart, a kind manner, and a generous spirit.

    And of course, he had a magnificent talent. A talent that will never be matched. Ever.

    I also know that I have been tearing up over looking a photo of him, listening to his music, listening to him speak, and reading what he had to say. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been doing this.

    So instead of berating us like little school children, please have both the sensitivity and decency to leave us be so that we can both grieve in peace and without feeling like we are the world’s worst people because both Vicky and her family and you think so.

    There I’ve had my say. And if you were brave, you would leave this comment here. But I know you won’t. So that tells me all I need to know about you where this particular article (and the accompanying ones) are concerned.

    • Alternative Nation

      Read the article again. I never said any criticism of how Vicky, Peter, or anybody have handled the death shouldn’t be allowed, I am talking about personal attacks seen on LSA when it comes to Vicky, and Instagram when it comes to Peter. My articles about Vicky are reporting what she says, my job is to report news on Chris Cornell, his widow now is in charge of his musical legacy, so obviously she is going to be reported on a lot. I have also reported on what Peter Cornell says.

      • Olga Stewart

        Yes but I and others have been punished because when we wanted to comment on such an article, the comments have been closed because someone else was being nasty in their comment.

        That really isn’t fair because others get punished for the sake of a few.

        This is part of why I feel the way I do.

        And I still stand by what I said in the rest of this comment thread.

    • Kay B

      I’d like to see how many reads/clicks this site has gotten over this past year than others. You’re right, Brett is posting these articles because he knows they will get clicks. And ultimately that is what he wants…clicks. Good or bad. It is hypocrisy. I see below he states it is his job to report this stuff. Yea report about artists and music. There is no reason to report Vicky and her mother’s Mother Day cards they got from Chris. It is all about the clicks though and he knows it. He enjoys it. Yea I said it.

      • Olga Stewart

        Thank you.

        You know, this site could have posted several tributes to Chris.

        But no.

        Along with the one tribute article that was posted, we then get another article that says that the drama surrounding Chris’s needs to stop.

        Again, the article only really serves both Vicky and her family.

        Therefore, I no longer believe that we are ever going to get both and objective articles about both Chris and his music on here.

  • Coco Nut

    Social media can be used for good and evil. Taking the good with the bad is how to handle life. I, for one, have always been sympathetic—even empathetic—to how hurt and confused Vicky must be. But, I don’t think her “crusade” is helping her heal. Just focus on bringing awareness to the links between addiction, depression, and suicide and leave the medical examiner alone (who only did his job and determined cause of death which was suicide). Who here on Earth knows exactly what was going on in his mind a year ago? So sad.

    Rest in peace, Chris. Live in peace, Chris’ family, friends, and fans.

  • Billy

    An entire year since Chris gave his soul to the wind.
    i think Chris’ relapse at the end was enough to inhibit his survival instinct. Suicide was a prevalent theme in his lyrics spanning decades. In my mind the nomorebullshit tweet was a red flag considering his out of sorts performance after that. The drugs didn’t create the idea in his head to end his life, but enabled him to follow through with it.

    The subsequent drama that has unfolded is outright shameful.People trying to get donations from ppl to further a made up murder theory investigation is a manipulation of grief. Ppl attacking the man’s children is abhorrent. The family grieving thru social media never really allowed for any dust to settle.

    Fuck it all, it’s time to move on. i would love to read an article of fellow musicians recounting anecdotes about him, what it was like to see a legend at work. One of the hardest things for me is the finality of the body of work. I look forward to one day hearing any unreleased material Vicky,Sg,or AS choose to share with us.

    • Olga Stewart

      Again, he didn’t relapse.

      Read the tox report to see that he didn’t.

      Why can’t some people not understand this?

      • Dawn Jones

        Did you see his last performance in Detroit? He was high as hell

        • Olga Stewart

          The tox screen does not indicate that.

          • Dawn Jones

            He was High as Hell, watch the video of his last show

          • Olga Stewart

            We will agree to disagree then.

          • Dawn Jones

            Well explain why the wife is on an Addiction Campaign

          • Olga Stewart

            To cover her butt most likely.

    • Antionettesees

      “Gave his soul to the wind” Nicely put, I like that.
      I do need to repeat what Olga said though. What relapse? I am way too familiar with toxicology reports than I care to be and they don’t miss a trick. They don’t miss opiates for sure. His Ativan use that night wasn’t excessive. No alcohol in his system. That doesn’t sound like any kind of relapse I’ve ever heard of.

  • SurferGurl

    Odd that on the one year anniversary of his death, you chose to focus on his wife and family as opposed to his life, music and legacy. Glad I stopped reading your nonsense months ago.

    • Olga Stewart

      Thank you for saying this.

      And I agree.

    • Alternative Nation
      • SurferGurl

        Actually, I stopped reading the articles when you started deleting comments you didn’t like on articles you posted. The readers and commenters have every right to free speech as you do regardless of whether or not you agree with them. Selective journalism at it’s finest. Honestly, I checked in today on the hope that there would be a nice piece about his music and life not the toxicity and drama surrounding it.

  • Dawn Jones

    No one talks about the horrible argument they had on the phone, she wanted a divorce, and he was not about to go through that hell again, as he did with his first wife. She wanted a divorce and was pissed off and done with his drug use, he hanged himself with her on the phone listening

    • Olga Stewart

      Don’t you suppose that Vicky said something to him that pushed him over the edge?

      Hence her ever changing story about what happened.

      • Dawn Jones

        Yes, exactly

        • Olga Stewart

          And so you don’t see anything wrong with her berating him then to the point that he killed himself?

          If so, then there is nothing else to say to that.

          • Dawn Jones

            I absolutely see something wrong with her berating him,,,,she pushed him over the edge, and now she is diverting all her guilt and attention towards addiction,,,I agree he was having issues with addiction, that she did nothing about. She saw the signs. She argued with him terribly, and he took his life during that argument

          • cole harris

            Dawn, this is big. Where do I find this information if you don’t mind. I kind of thought they may have had a fight that night, but to hear he did it while on the phone with VC gives me the chills.

          • Olga Stewart

            Three of the same comment.

            And all directed at Dawn.

            Are we sure that you are not a minion/troll?

          • cole harris

            No, I’m not a minion or a troll. Are you a bitch? My IPAD touch screen is acting up! Do you think you own this site miss Olga’s? I don’t think so. STFU!

          • Olga Stewart

            If I were a female dog, then yes.

            And like those minions, you are both bitchy and rude.

          • cole harris

            I’m not wasting time on you Olga. I was asking Dawn, not you.

          • Olga Stewart

            He is gone.

            That’s what we all know about this.

            And that just will never sit right with me.

    • cole harris

      Dawn I always felt that they had an argument that night. How did you find info about CC hanging himself while she was on phone with him.

      • Olga Stewart

        There is a thing called Google.

        So you could do research into Chris’s death.

        • cole harris

          Ummm, I wasn’t asking you Olga. My message was for Dawn. Is your name Dawn? And to me, her explanation makes more sense than anything that I’ve heard since Chris Cornell death. That is why I’m asking Dawn.

  • Antionettesees

    Can we please get real about something? The infighting between the families. Can’t we be honest about who started all that? I”ll give you a hint. Their last name doesn’t begin with a C or D. It starts with a K. I’ve watched it unfold with my own eyes.
    Going after children is awful. Too bad the people in charge of said child didn’t protect her, by keeping her out of this mess. Instead of throwing her out there for the world to comment about. Why is that concept so hard for them to understand?
    I understand the position you’re in at AN, and it must be difficult….nonetheless the truth is the truth. I do appreciate that you have tried to give both sides….I appreciate that you made a article on the letter that Chris wrote to his mother Karen. The woman who gave birth to him and raised him. Hopefully that cleared a few things up for some people, who chose to believe that Chris didn’t love his mother.

  • cole harris

    Dawn Jones I always thought they had an argument that night. Where did you get the info that he did it while on the phone with VC? If you don’t mind. Thanks.

  • N.

    He’s dead? When did this happen?!?!

  • Kay B

    Silent Comfort

    Black ink from my reservoir pen,
    twists on an uncontrolled surface.
    Like a contorted vane too tired to revolve,
    I compose in my head my last contentions.

    The last thing I wanted to do, was to hurt any of you.
    For reasons you just can’t see, the pressure was getting to me.

    My demons were not effortless,
    a dark coil inside of me needed to be released.
    It was like lacerating a butterflies wings.
    I hunger for you to know I never meant to cease.

    The last thing I wanted to do, was to hurt any of you.
    For reasons you just can’t see, the pressure was getting to me.

    I recognize I don’t need your absolution, and you don’t need mine.
    Take every segment of me including my love, compassion and voice
    and transmit it to the masses.
    Find solace that I am now where I need to be.

    The last thing I wanted to do, was to hurt any of you.
    For reasons you just can’t see, the pressure was getting to me.

    • Olga Stewart

      Oh but this poem is wonderful.

      And thank you so much for sharing it.

      • Kay B

        Thank you.

        • Olga Stewart

          You’re welcome.