Soundgarden and Chris Cornell Estate Settle Lawsuit

Vicky Cornell, on behalf of the Estate of Chris Cornell, and the surviving members of Soundgarden — Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron and Ben Shepard — have settled a contentious legal battle that will allow the release of new music the band had been working on up to the time of the singer’s death from suicide in 2017.

“The reconciliation marks a new partnership between the two parties, which will allow Soundgarden fans around the world to hear the final songs that the band and Chris were working on,” reads a statement by the relevant parties. “The two parties are united and coming together to propel, honor and build upon Soundgarden’s incredible legacy as well as Chris’s indelible mark on music history — as one of the greatest songwriters and vocalists of all time.”

Vicky Cornell first sued the bandmembers in 2019 over royalties and the rights to seven unreleased songs that were in varying states of completion. In the next two years, the two sides sparred on a variety of matters, including the value of Chris Cornell’s participation in Soundgarden businesses and the use of social media to continue to promote the band.

As it related to financials, the widow claimed she was offered a “ludicrously low” buyout offer and called for the group’s holdings to be professionally audited.

In a 2021 complaint, Cornell stated that she attempted to settle the matter by offering the surviving bandmembers first $4 million each for their collective interests in the Soundgarden partnership, and then, when that offer was declined, $7 million each. The filing also claimed that the group had refused to share data regarding the partnership’s value.

In response, the surviving bandmembers, via a rep, released a statement which read, in part, “This dispute has never been about money for the band. This is their life’s work and their legacy.”

But money is involved, specifically revenue collected by the band’s business-related entities SG Recordings, SMF, SG Productions, and LLM.

Settlement terms were not disclosed.

Pictured (from left): Chris Cornell, Ben Shepherd, Matt Cameron and Kim Thayil in 2012.

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