- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 10, 2017

The family of rock musician Chris Cornell has commissioned an sculptor to memorialize the late Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman with a statue to be displayed in his hometown of Seattle.

The singer’s widow told The Seattle Times on Wednesday that she hired special effects artist and sculptor Wayne Toth to create a statue of her late husband following his passing in May at the age of 52.

“He has already given me a design and the children and I love it,” Vicky Cornell told The Times.

Mr. Toth previously sculpted a statue of Ramones guitarist Johnny Ramone that sits atop his grave at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, roughly a dozen feet from Cornell’s final resting place.

Local attorney Mark Johnson is currently working with city officials to find a suitable location for the statue, The Times reported.

“He is Seattle’s son,” Mrs. Cornell added, “and we will be bringing him home and honoring him, I hope, with all of you, your love and support.”

In the meantime she’s committed $100,000 toward the Chris Cornell Music Therapy Program at Childhaven, a local nonprofit geared toward helping children suffering from abuse and neglect, The Times reported.

“His promise was to help the most vulnerable children,” she said. “My vow now is to keep his promise, and what better way to honor Chris and his hometown than by creating a music program to help these babies heal.”

Cornell was born in Seattle in 1964 and gained recognition a little more than two decades later when he found himself at the center of the city’s budding grunge rock scene as the lead singer of Soundgarden, a genre-defining quartet that earned a Grammy nod for its first studio record, 1988’s “Ultramega OK,” and ultimately sold more 22.5 million albums internationally. He also fronted the band Temple of the Dog in the early 1990s and the rock supergroup Audioslave the following decade.

Cornell’s body was found May 18 inside a Detroit hotel room while on tour with Soundgarden, and a coroner subsequently ruled his death the result of suicide by hanging. He is survived by his wife and three children.

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