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The Legal Battle over Chris Cornell’s Unreleased Recordings

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The death of Chris Cornell, the legendary frontman of the American rock band Soundgarden in 2017, was a significant loss to the music industry and his fans worldwide. 

But, even after his death, some unreleased recordings of Chris Cornell were still in the possession of his former bandmates in Soundgarden. 

For almost three years, this led to a legal battle between his widow, Vicky Cornell, and the band members. Finally, in July 2021, Soundgarden and Vicky Cornell resolved the unreleased Chris Cornell recordings. 

Let’s take a closer look at the details of this resolution in this article.

Chris Cornell: Life and Career Success 

Chris Cornell was Soundgarden’s lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist, one of the most influential bands in the Seattle grunge scene of the 90s. He was also the frontman for other successful bands, such as Audioslave and Temple of the Dog. 

Chris Cornell was an American musician, singer, songwriter, and composer best known as the frontman for the rock band Soundgarden. His unique and powerful vocal style made him one of the most recognizable voices in rock music.

Soundgarden was formed in 1984 in Seattle, Washington, by Chris Cornell, Hiro Yamamoto, and Kim Thayil. The band released their debut album, Ultramega OK, 1988 and quickly gained recognition for their unique blend of heavy metal and grunge. 

They became one of the most prominent and influential bands of the 90s, releasing landmark albums such as Badmotorfinger and Superunknown.

Chris Cornell was Soundgarden’s vocalist and main songwriter, and his powerful and passionate vocal style was one of the band’s defining characteristics. 

His lyrics tackled isolation, anger, and alienation themes, and his delivery was often raw and intense. He was also a gifted guitar player, and his solos were often the highlight of the band’s live shows.

Chris Cornell’s solo career in the music entertainment scene was as successful as his time with Soundgarden. He released four solo albums between 1999 and 2015, which featured a more acoustic-based sound than his work with the band. He also collaborated with Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder on the hit song “Hunger Strike” and was featured on several soundtracks.

Cornell passed away in May 2017 at 52, leaving a legacy of timeless music that continues to inspire and influence artists today.

After his death, Vicky Cornell, Chris’s widow, sued Soundgarden, claiming that the band members were withholding seven unreleased recordings that Chris Cornell had made before his death. 

The dispute was over who owned the rights to these recordings. Vicky Cornell argued that they belonged to her husband’s estate, while Soundgarden asserted they were the band’s property.

The Lawsuit

The lawsuit was filed in 2019 and was a contentious legal battle between Vicky Cornell and Soundgarden’s band members. The case took several turns, with both parties filing counterclaims. 

Vicky Cornell claimed that the band members were trying to pressure her into releasing the recordings to them. In contrast, Soundgarden claimed that Vicky Cornell was trying to exploit the recordings for her financial gain.

The Resolution

After almost three years of legal battles, Soundgarden and Vicky Cornell finally resolved the unreleased Chris Cornell recordings in July 2021. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but a joint statement was released by both parties announcing that they had reached a “temporary detente” and that they would work together to release the recordings in the future.

What Does This Mean for Chris Cornell’s Fans?

This resolution is undoubtedly good news for Chris Cornell’s fans, who have been eagerly waiting for the release of these unreleased recordings. Although the agreement’s details have not been disclosed, the tapes are expected to be released soon. This will allow fans to hear new music from one of the greatest voices in rock history.

The Legacy of Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell’s legacy in the music industry and as one of the top American celebrities is undeniable. He was a talented musician, songwriter, and vocalist who inspired many artists. His music was unique and powerful, and his voice was one of the most distinctive in rock music. 

Cornell’s death was a tragedy, but his music lives on, and his influence continues to be felt in today’s music industry. His legacy will continue to grow with the release of these unreleased recordings.


The resolution between Soundgarden and Vicky Cornell over the unreleased Chris Cornell recordings is a positive development for fans of the late musician. Although the agreement’s details are yet to be disclosed, the tapes are expected to be released soon. This will allow fans to hear new music from one of the greatest voices in rock history and help ensure his legacy continues growing.

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