Ann and Nancy Wilson of the pioneering rock sister act Heart were more than just Seattle forebears for Chris Cornell and Soundgarden. They were friends for many years, first being connected via the “Singles” film (both acts appeared on the soundtrack, Heart’s Nancy Wilson was married to director Cameron Crowe at the time); Soundgarden recorded at Bad Animals, the Seattle studio the sisters own; Cornell even inducted the group into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. At the time he spoke of how, during his rough-and-tumble early years, seeing one of the sisters leaving a Seattle recording studio inspired him to keep at it.
In the wake of Cornell’s suicide early Thursday, the sisters — who are in the middle of an inter-family spat after Ann’s husband was charged with assault against one of Nancy’s sons — issued separate statements that were posted on Heart’s Facebook page.
Ann wrote, “It’s important now to keep thoughts of Chris positive. He is on his way. We loved him well, now wish him well on his journey. He was and is a beautiful soul.”
“No one is ever prepared to hear about a death in the family,” Nancy posted. “And today Chris Cornell my brother from my Seattle music family is gone. I thought his voice would forever grace the world of music. Devastating.”
Ann continued the tribute on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Thursday night, performing Soundgarden’s biggest hit, 1994’s “Black Hole Sun,” backed by Kimmel’s house band, Cleto & the Cletones.
Early Friday, Cornell’s family issued a statement saying that prescription drugs may have played a role in his suicide.
In a sad confluence, a deluxe edition of the “Singles” soundtrack is released today, the day after Cornell’s death.