Preserving his legacy. Chris Cornell‘s family has commissioned a memorial statue for his hometown of Seattle, his widow, Vicky Cornell, announced on Wednesday, August 9.
Vicky has hired artist and sculptor Wayne Toth to create the statue. “He has already given me a design and the children and I love it,” Vicky told The Seattle Times, referring to the couple’s daughter, Toni, 12, and son, Christopher, 11. The late Soundgarden vocalist was also the father of daughter Lillian, 17, from his first marriage to Susan Silver.
The statue is expected to take approximately seven months to complete. Seattle attorney and family friend Mark Johnson is working with the city to find a location, but Vicky is open to suggestions.
“He is Seattle’s son, and we will be bringing him home and honoring him, I hope, with all of you, your love and support,” she told the newspaper.
Chris was found dead at the age of 52 in May after a Soundgarden concert in Detroit. His death was ruled a suicide by hanging. According to a toxicology report obtained by TMZ, the rocker had Narcan, Ativan, barbiturates and other prescription drugs in his system at the time of his death.
“Chris’ passing was so sudden,” Vicky told The Seattle Times. “It came with no warning except in [our] last call, which will stay with me forever. I understand everyone is looking for answers that make sense to us. The truth is, it will never make sense. Because it wasn’t meant to happen.”
Vicky recently committed $100,000 toward the Chris Cornell Music Therapy Program at the Seattle-based nonprofit Childhaven. “Chris was always interested in protecting traumatized children who had suffered physical or psychological abuse,” she said, adding that his “promise was to help the most vulnerable children.”
The couple’s daughter, Toni, performed an emotional cover of Leonard Cohen’s classic “Hallelujah” with OneRepublic on Good Morning America last week. The performance was dedicated to both her late father and Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington, who died by suicide in July, on what would have been his close friend Cornell’s 53rd birthday.