Chris Cornell’s widow sues Soundgarden over missing royalties

Vicky Cornell claims her husband was owed “hundreds of thousands” in royalties.

Chris and Vicky Cornell.

Image: Jason Merritt / Getty

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Chris Cornell’s widow, Vicky Cornell, has filed a lawsuit in a Florida federal court against the other members of Soundgarden. She alleges that the band have withheld a significant amount of royalties owed to her late husband.

According to the official complaint, the suit concerns the rights to seven unreleased songs as well as “hundreds of thousands” in royalty payments owed to the late Cornell’s widow and children through Chris’ Estate. The complaint states that the lack of royalties is an attempt from Cornell’s bandmates to “strong-arm Chris’ Estate into turning over certain audio recordings created by Chris before he passed away”.

While the complaint states that the creative rights of the unreleased recordings belonged solely to Chris, Cornell’s former bandmates have maintained that the songs were a collaborative effort between themselves and the late singer.

Back in July, Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil confirmed the existence of these unreleased tracks in an interview with Music Radar. He also hinted at disagreements regarding how said material was to be handled. “We tried to get this going two years ago, but we’re not in possession of any of the demos that Chris was working on,” Thayil said. “There seems to be some confusion amongst various parties as to what that would entail and how that works, and who that would benefit.”

The lawsuit named former Soundgarden bandmates Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron and Ben Shepherd, as well as the band’s business manager, Rit Venerus. Vicky Cornell also claimed in her legal statement that she had attempted to reach a compromise with the band but was rejected, and that Thayil’s public comments on the matter have led to the perception that she was standing in the way of a future album from the band.

In a post on Instagram, Vicky Cornell stated how she would “not be pushed aside for someone else’s convenience or gain”. “I will do justice by my husband’s work and memory; for our children and for everything we stood for,” she wrote.

See her full post here:

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