A benefit concert in memory of late SOUNDGARDEN and AUDIOSLAVE frontman Chris Cornell, billed as "I Am The Highway: A Tribute To Chris Cornell", will take place at the Forum in Los Angeles on January 16, 2019. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the show will feature performances from FOO FIGHTERS and METALLICA, as well as appearances from Cornell's former bandmates in SOUNDGARDEN, AUDIOSLAVE, TEMPLE OF THE DOG and more.
Speaking to SiriusXM's Volume West, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, PROPHETS OF RAGE and AUDIOSLAVE guitarist Tom Morello said about the event: "I'll be there. We haven't figured out exactly what's gonna happen. But as soon as they called up. I was enthusiastic about being able to play to honor and celebrate the life of Chris."
He added: "It's not gonna be some mournful, dreary thing; it's gonna be about his awesome music.'
Morello went on to praise Cornell's musical abilities and the singer's influence on the rock scene in general.
"I got to be in a band with the dude for some years — [he was] one of the greatest rock singers of all time," Tom said. "From his spectacular rock-god presence to his tremendous creation of melody to his very unique voice, I think his greatest contribution might have been that he and his band SOUNDGARDEN, with the help of one or two other groups — maybe JANE'S ADDICTION and LIVING COLOUR — redeemed hard rock music. Because growing up on hard music, it was about groupies and the devil, and those were the subject matters… [SOUNDGARDEN] was music that combined nuanced, poetic intelligence in the lyrics, but with unapologetically kicking your ass with rock and roll. And I was, like, 'Oh my gosh! That's for me.' So that really opened the door for the entire… all the bands — from RAGE to TOOL to SMASHING PUMPKINS; all of it — was [because of] the doors opened by Chris and his embracing those two things: the hard rock music and the intelligence."
Proceeds from the "I Am The Highway: A Tribute To Chris Cornell" show will benefit the the Chris And Vicky Cornell Foundation as well as the Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation (EBMRF).
Cornell was pronounced dead on May 18, 2017 after being found unresponsive in his Detroit hotel room. SOUNDGARDEN had played a show earlier that evening. The 52-year-old had sedatives and an anxiety drug in his system, but died as a result of hanging himself.