American rock band Soundgarden has countersued Chris Cornell’s widow over withholding seven previously unreleased vocal recordings.
Within the past three years, Soundgarden have endured the passing of beloved frontman Chris Cornell, encountered delays in producing a new album due to not having the rights to his vocals, and have been sued by Cornell’s widow for royalties.
Last December, Vicky pursued legal help to receive the rights to several unreleased songs, claiming that hundreds of thousands of dollars were owed to herself and their children, and taking to Instagram to talk about the troubles she has faced since attempting to gain the rights to royalties.
In the latest saga of issues Soundgarden face, they are now countersuing widow Vicky Cornell for the ownership of Chris Cornell’s final recordings. In court, surviving members of Soundgarden claimed that Vicky has no right to the tracks, while the widow insists that they were recorded in their home studio, and solely owned by the late musician.
As Rolling Stone reports, Vicky has accused members of Soundgarden “of making false statements to the media about who owned the unreleased Cornell recordings, and the reason for the album holdup. She also alleged that Soundgarden was withholding money from her and her family ‘in an unlawful attempt to strong-arm’ her into turning over the unreleased songs.”
Whereas, now, Soundgarden has made claims that the unreleased recordings are based from writing sessions that began over three years ago. “We don’t have possession of our own creative work” the band commented to Rolling Stone.
Frustratingly, there seems to be no end in sight for this row, with Vicky’s attorneys responding to the newest legal move: “We obviously disagree with the band’s blatant mischaracterisation of events, and stand by the truthful facts set forth in our complaint.”
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“It is disappointing that Chris’ former band members have now sought to taint his legacy by making numerous false allegations, and that they continue to withhold substantial monies from his widow and minor children (despite using those same funds to pay for their own legal fees).”
“The issue in this case is not who wrote the songs but rather who owns the specific recordings made solely by Chris while he resided in Florida. We are very confident that the Court will vindicate the rights of Chris’ Estate, and that the case will properly remain in Florida, where Chris resided and recorded the songs that are now the lawful property of his Estate.”