Chris Cornell tribute concert
[Photo by: Whitney Newell]

Chris Cornell‘s widow is reportedly suing his former bandmates in Soundgarden over the rights of unreleased music and unpaid royalties.

Vicky Cornell alleges the band is not paying her owed royalties in an attempt to strong-arm her into releasing the rights to songs Cornell left to his estate before his passing.

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According to TMZ, Chris Cornell’s widow, Vicky alleges that Soundgarden is withholding hundreds of thousands of dollars in owed royalty payment in an attempt to force her to release seven tracks that Cornell left in his estate. Members of Soundgarden claim they were cowriters on at least five of the seven recordings, however.

“[Soundgarden] have shamelessly conspired to wrongfully withhold hundreds of thousands of dollars indisputably owed to Chris’ widow and minor children in an unlawful attempt to strong-arm Chris’ Estate into turning over certain audio recordings created by Chris before he passed away.” The court filing reads.  

Vicky Cornell also alleges that Soundgarden has put her and her family in harm’s way by stating she is the only reason Soundgarden has yet to release a new album. Vicky claims that Soundgarden is attempting to incite their “rabid fan base.”

The court documents, filed today claim that Chris Cornell left those recordings in the sole possession of his estate.

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Vicky claims that she offered to share the unreleased tracks with members of Soundgarden to no avail.

Vicky took to Instagram to post about her struggle. And about doing what is best to honor her late husband’s work and protect their children.

This was not the way I would have chosen to move forward. But I will not be pushed aside for someone else’s convenience or gain. I will not sacrifice our children’s futures for someone else’s greed. And I will not let someone else make me feel shame because the man I loved was taken from all of us too soon.

I will do justice by my husband’s work and memory; for our children and for everything we stood for. I want to thank everyone who has stood by Chris and has supported us through this devastating time. Your love and your kindness will never be forgotten.

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I have been taking time these past few weeks to be grateful for all the good people around me and for those who have lifted me up at the very worst times in my life. The silver lining, during the storm, is finding and appreciating the subtle glow of those who sincerely support you in your life unconditionally. However, sometimes while you grieve the one you physically lost, you realize that you must now grieve the loss of some of those you considered friends and family as well. I am shocked at how often this occurs. It’s not just me, or the rock-star widow, or the political widow; it is the case for the vast majority of women after their partners have passed. It transcends socio-economic class, race, and religion. It is an unpleasant and unfortunately all too common theme. Hard-hearted family members, friends, and business associates; who will exploit a widow’s vulnerability when she’s broken and alone. These other people who have decided that her time is up as well. Through support groups and other widowed friends, and during both difficult and supportive conversations, I have learned that I am not a unique case. This seems to be the inevitable plight of the widow in this world and I cannot help feeling angry, sad and betrayed. I will not be bullied or shamed into silence. I will not accept something so wrong, so lacking in compassion or decency, even with the clear but unspoken threat of social rejection hanging over me. This was not the way I would have chosen to move forward. But I will not be pushed aside for someone else’s convenience or gain. I will not sacrifice our children’s futures for someone else’s greed. And I will not let someone else make me feel shame because the man I loved was taken from all of us too soon. I will do justice by my husband’s work and memory; for our children and for everything we stood for. I want to thank everyone who has stood by Chris and has supported us through this devastating time. Your love and your kindness will never be forgotten. #chriscornell forever 🖤

A post shared by Vicky Cornell (@vickycornell) on

Members of Soundgarden claim that Vicky handing over the recordings would benefit all parties. Also, that they were all working on the tracks in a collaborative effort before Chris Cornell’s passing.

The entire thing is a messy business and we hope things work out for all parties involved.

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