Soundgarden Getting Sued By Chris Cornell’s Widow
Unfortunately things seem to always come down to money and rights after someone dies.
According to a number of music news outlets yesterday, including Rolling Stone and Consequence of Sound, Vicky Cornell has filed a lawsuit against Soundgarden. From everything I read, it looks like she is suing the band for unpaid royalties. According to Rolling Stone the royalties are from seven unreleased recordings that were made by Chris Cornell before he actually died. Consequence of Sound reported she is suing for the rights to the songs as well.
The lawsuit sounds pretty scathing, reading through the Rolling Stone post. They actually have a quotation about the lawsuit claiming that the band members and band manager "shamelessly conspired" on this to withhold thousands. Thousands???
It gets even sticker. The report says that the recordings were done by Chris Cornell in his own studio before he died, and there was no specific agreement that they were Soundgarden songs [we all know how amazing Cornell also was solo and with other projects like Audioslave]. Apparently, it's reported that Vicky agreed to share the songs with Soundgarden after the band reached out [they obviously knew then that the songs were being tracked] as long as the band agreed to use a producer that Cornell trusted, which it seems like did not happen.
I'm sure this kind of stuff happens all the time in music, unfortunately. I feel like I'm almost always reading about an argument over music rights or legalities. It's just unfortunate that it's happening among a group of people who were all close to Cornell. You can actually see the legal filing and read more here.