On Sunday, Feb. 10 Chris Cornell’s children took the stage to accept his first solo Grammy win. The late musician took home a Grammy for the Best Rock Performance for “When Bad Does Good” more than a year after his death. While the rock performer was well known during his life for his musical talents, Cornell’s Grammy win has brought his work back into the forefront. Where did Cornell get his start and what was his net worth at the time of his death?
A humble start
Hailing from Washington, Cornell was virtually born into the Seattle rock scene. During the early 1980s, he worked in the restaurant business first as a busboy and dishwasher then a sous chef while he tried to crack into the music business.
In 1984 Cornell founded Soundgarden with Kim Thayil. The band played in Seattle’s grunge scene through the 1990s, working in the same circles as Nirvana. Cornell revealed in a 2011 interview with Loudwire that Nirvana, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden were rivals. Soundgarden received their first Grammy nomination in 1990 for Best Performance for Ultramega OK.
In 1999 Cornell released his first solo album under the Interscope record label. In 2001 Cornell joined Audioslave, which was formed by Zack De La Rocha. De La Rocha left the band Rage Against the Machine and was looking for an additional vocalist to round out the group.
Audioslave was nominated for three Grammys. They were nominated twice in 2004, and once in 2006, however, the group never took home a trophy.
Chris Cornell’s net worth at the time of his death
Cornell died in May 2017. At the time of his passing Cornell was estimated to have a net worth of $60 million for his musical work. Details of Cornell’s will have never been made public, but it is assumed his fortune was split between his wife Vicky and three children.
Cornell met his wife in 2003 in Paris, according to a tribute written by Vicky. Cornell’s first child Lillian Jean was born in 2000. He shared Lillian Jean with
Cornell was active in philanthropy as well. He founded a non-profit that aims at helping poor abused and homeless children. Cornell was still married at the time of his death.
Chris Cornell’s legacy
Cornell’s musical legacy stretches far beyond his 2019 Grammy win. The musician was renowned for his unique sound and contributions to the songwriting community, as well as contributions to the Seattle music scene.
Cornell’s foundation has been active in helping refugee children in recent years. Before his death, Cornell traveled with his wife to visit refugee camps in Greece. In July 2018 Vicky Cornell pledged $100,000 to create a music therapy program through Childhaven in Cornell’s name. Childhaven is a non-profit based in Seattle.
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