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Soundgarden given access to social media accounts in “productive first step” to resolving disputes with Chris Cornell estate

By | Published on Thursday 17 June 2021


The surviving members of Soundgarden have been handed back control of their website and social media accounts in “a productive first step towards healing and open dialogue” with the estate of late frontman Chris Cornell.

Since Cornell’s death in 2017, the band’s website and social media accounts have been controlled by his wife, Vicky Cornell. The remaining band members had been denied access in one of a number of disputes that erupted between Cornell’s widow and his former bandmates.

In a joint statement, both sides said yesterday: “Soundgarden and Vicky Cornell, the personal representative of the estate of Christopher Cornell, are pleased to announce that, effective 15 Jun 2021, they have come to a temporary agreement that will transfer the Soundgarden social media accounts and website to the band’s remaining members, Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron, and Ben Shepherd, and their managers, Red Light Management”.

“The agreement marks a productive first step towards healing and open dialogue, and the parties wish for the social media accounts to celebrate the band’s accomplishments and music while continuing to honour Chris’ legacy”, they go on.

This may be a sign that some resolution is close to being reached in other disputes around the future of Soundgarden and the legacy of Chris Cornell.

Vicky Cornell sued Thayil, Cameron and Shepherd in 2019, accusing them of withholding royalties and making false statements in a bid to force her to hand over seven recordings of new songs that her late husband made before his death.

She argued that Chris Cornell worked on those recordings alone and so the copyright within them belonged to the estate. The band hit back a couple of months later, denying the accusations against them and saying that they owned the copyright in the new music.

The band stated that the recordings were “provably Soundgarden’s and intended for a new Soundgarden album” – an album that they want to now complete and release. Completing and releasing that record is not something Vicky Cornell is against. However, she wants a say in who produces the project and the subsequent marketing campaign.

Earlier this year, Vicky Cornell sued Soundgarden again, asking for a judge to rule on the value of Chris Cornell’s share of the band’s business. She said that she had been offered “the villainously low figure of less than $300,000” but knew that the band had already been offered $16 million for their master recording rights alone. She also said that she had offered the other band members $21 million to buy them out of their shares of the business, which they had refused.

All of that is ongoing, but the transfer of control of the band’s online accounts (albeit temporarily at this stage) does suggest that there has been some movement in a positive direction.

Whether this means we’re now finally getting closer to hearing that completed Soundgarden album remains to be seen.