Chris Cornell statue commemorated at MoPop

In memory of a rock icon and Seattle’s son

James Kerrigan, Staff Reporter
Originally Published October 25, 2018

Fletcher Anderson

Over a year after the Soundgarden front man’s suicide, the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) has unveiled a bronze life size statue of Chris Cornell at a public ceremony the evening of Sunday, Oct 7. The statue stands tall outside the south entrance of the museum on 5th avenue, and includes Cornell with his iconic leather boots, necklaces and guitar as he holds his right hand in the air with a pick.

The unveiling of the statue began at 5:30 in the evening under grey clouds and light rain, and was accompanied by a crowd of roughly 1000 attendees made up of parents in army jackets, teenangers in black hoodies, and a few children wearing “badmotorfinger” shirts–all proudly displaying the longstanding influence of Chris Cornell and Soundgarden.

Close friends and family members of Cornell attended the commemoration including members of Soundgarden (Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron, Ben Shepherd), members of Pearl Jam and his wife Vikki Cornell with their children.

Speeches were given by Bill Hilf (CEO of Vulcan), Mayor Jenny Durkin and finally Vikki Cornell to put into words what the statue should mean to Seattle. “Chris’ music touched me when I was younger and has stayed with me to this day,” Hilf said in his speech. “This isn’t the end of anything today…Chris is here today. Chris will be with us forever.”

Vikki Cornell and her children revealed the bronze statue from underneath it’s black sheet. The audience pulled out their phones in unison to document the event as friends hugged, cried and cheered at the site of it.

After the unveiling, an after party was held inside the museum where a live Soundgarden performance was presented on MoPOP’s sky church screen along with some of Cornell’s clothes and scribbled lyrics on display.