Vicky Cornell celebrated what would have been late husband Chris Cornell‘s 56th birthday on Monday (July 20) by issuing a previously-unreleased cover from the archives.
The acoustic version of Guns N’ Roses‘ ballad “Patience” from 1989’s G N’ R Lies album features the Soundgarden singer’s signature raspy vocals over a raspy drum beat and gently strummed guitars.
“His birthday seemed the perfect time to share this and celebrate Chris, his voice, music, stories and art,” Cornell’s wife Vicky wrote in a FB post. “It is true a man is not dead while his name is still spoken…and, through his art, an artist’s soul still burns just as bright as ever upon all those that look up to him and his memory. Releasing music that was special to Chris keeps a part of him here with us- his heart and his soul. His love and his legacy.”
Cornell died by suicide at age 52 on May 18, 2017. According to a release accompanying the track, the song was recorded in March 2016 at Henson Studios in Los Angeles. “While he was there working on his own album, he was teaching his daughter Toni how to play ‘Patience,’ as she was a big fan of Guns N’ Roses,” it explains. “During his studio time, he actually recorded it on his own as a tribute to the band and their recent announcement at the time that they would be getting back together.”
Toni and Christopher also marked their dad’s birthday by announcing two new national initiatives to address addiction. Working with the Addiction Policy Forum and the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation, they are rolling out “STOP THE STIGMA,” an educational peer-to-peer pilot program that will be taken to high schools around the country in an attempt to empower young people to tackle the stigma around addiction.
The pair are also launching a podcast aimed at breaking down the stigmas around addiction on which they will be joined by scientists, policy makers, celebrities and other key individuals sharing their personal experiences and efforts to combat the epidemic of drug abuse. The podcast will be availalbe in August here.
Additionally, Lily, the late rocker’s eldest daughter from first marriage to music manager Susan Silver, launched an IGTV series in honor of her father’s birthday titled Mind Wide Open. The series’ mission is to help destigmatize the conversations around mental health.
Listen to Cornell’s cover of “Patience” below and watch a video for the song assembled by Toni and Christopher featuring personal images from the singer’s life.