Chris Cornell, the lead singer of Soundgarden and Audioslave, died suddenly on May 17 after performing in Detroit. Cornell is survived by his second wife, Vicky Karayiannis, and three children, Lillian Jean, Toni and Christopher Nicholas.
Police told the Detroit Free Press that Cornell was found with a band around his neck and his death is being investigated as a possible suicide. The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office already ruled Cornell’s death a suicide, TMZ reports.
Kirk Pasich, an attorney for the Cornell family, said in a statement that the family believes prescription drugs may have played a role in his death. However, Pasich noted that the toxicology tests are not complete.
“Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris,” Pasich said. “Chris, a recovering addict, had a prescription for Ativan and may have taken more Ativan than recommended dosages. The family believes that if Chris took his life, he did not know what he was doing, and that drugs or other substances may have affected his actions.”
Lillian Jean Cornell was born in June 2000. Her mother is Susan Silver, Cornell’s first wife. His other two children, daughter Toni and son Christopher Nicholas, are from his second marriage to Vicky.
Here’s what you need to now about Cornell’s children.
1. Toni Once Joined Her Father Onstage to Sing ‘Redemption Song’
In October 2015, cameras caught an incredibly special moment between father and daughter at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. Cornell’s daughter Toni joined him on stage to sing Bob Marley’s “Redemption Son.”
At the time, Toni was only 11 years old, but she showed off some incredible singing talent. It’s a moment she’s probably very happy was captured by a member of the audience.
This wasn’t the first time Toni joined her father on stage. In 2007, TMZ reported that Lillian and Toni joined their father on stage at the Beacon Theatre.
2. Christopher Nicholas Cornell Was Born in December 2005
Cornell and Vicky announced their son’s birth in a Variety announcement in December 2005. He was born on December 5, 2005 in Los Angeles.
Christopher’s grandmother, Toni Karayiannis, shared the above photo of her grandson on Twitter in 2014.
3. Lillian’s Mother Susan Was Soundgarden’s Band Manager
Lillian’s mother is Susan Silver, Cornell’s first wife. The couple divorced in 2004, four years after Lillian Jean Cornell was born. Four years after the divorce and a bitter court battle, he finally got 15 guitars used on Soudgarden and Audioslave recordings back.
“It seems to me that some strangely desperate people involved in the music business forget that they are not the ones that write these songs, spill their guts and expose themselves to the public on the most personal level. We invent this s**t and f**king own it and no matter what, nothing will change that,” Cornell wrote on his website at the time.
Silver managed both Soundgarden and Alice in Chains.
4. Toni Has an ‘Unusual List’ of Artists She Listens To, Cornell Said
In an April 2017 interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Cornell said that Toni has unique musical tastes for a girl her age. That’s probably why she knew all the words to “Redemption Song.”
“Music has been a part of my children’s lives,” Cornell told the Inquirer. “I can’t compare my relationship to music with theirs because they’ve had a different experience. But I made a point of not telling them what to listen to. My daughter Toni has an unusual list of artists and songs she listens to.”
5. Greek Singer Anna Vissi Baptized Christopher Nicholas
After marrying Vicky, Cornell converted to Greek Orthodox. As the Hollywood Greek Reporter noted in 2009, Christopher Nicholas was baptized by Greek singer Anna Vissi at the Saint Sophia Orthodox church in Los Angeles.
“I wanted to be married (to Vicky) in the Greek Church. I was baptized Catholic and went to a Catholic school,” Cornell told the Enquirer. “There was something about the Greek Orthodox Church that resonated with my childhood—there was something fresh and exciting about it.”
Greece became such a major part of Cornell’s life that he was in the country just last month to visit a refugee camp, notes the Mirror. Cornell and Vicky set up a charity in Athens and visited Eleonas Camp with his family and the International Rescue Committee.