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Two of Cornell’s children, daughter Toni and son Christopher, accepted the award. Toni held the Grammy as she and Christopher read remarks off of their phones.
“I never thought we’d be standing here without my dad, and I’m sure he’d be proud and honored,” Christopher began. “He was known for many things. He is a rock icon, the godfather of grunge and the creator of a movement, whose contribution to music history made a lasting impact across genres and generations. He was also one of the greatest poets of his time, whose soaring vocals made him the voice of a generation. While he touched the hearts of millions, the most important thing he is known for to us is for being the greatest father and our hero.”
Added Toni, “His voice was his vision and his music was his peace.”
She then thanked the Recording Academy and their mom, Vicky Cornell, among others, referring to her as their dad’s “love, his muse and his savior who continues to carry out our father’s legacy.”
Toni concluded, “And a huge thank you to the fans for the loud love and support. This is for you, Daddy, and we love you so much.”
Cornell died May 18, 2017, at the age of 52 in what was ruled as suicide by hanging. He was found dead in a Detroit hotel room shortly after his band Soundgarden performed a concert at the city’s Fox Theatre.
His sudden death was greeted with an outpouring of grief from fans and numerous high-profile tributes, including a concert last month in Los Angeles.
Cornell received a posthumous best rock performance Grammy nomination later in 2017 for “The Promise,” losing out to fellow late musician Leonard Cohen, who died in 2016.
The Grammy is the first for Cornell since 1995, when Soundgarden won the same award for “Black Hole Sun” and best metal performance for “Spoonman.”
Feb. 11, 4:32 p.m. This story has been updated with information and video of Cornell’s children accepting the award.
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