Cornell funeral to take place Friday; widow pens letter

LOS ANGELES — Late Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell will be laid to rest Friday at a private memorial service at a Hollywood cemetery that is the final resting place of numerous stars.

The private service at Hollywood Forever Cemetery will be followed by a public memorial that begins at 3 p.m. PDT, during which fans can view Cornell’s burial site.

The services come more than a week after the 52-year-old Seattle native was found unresponsive in a Detroit hotel room hours after performing a show with Soundgarden. Coroner’s officials have said a preliminary autopsy showed Cornell hanged himself. A full autopsy and results of toxicology tests are pending.

The cemetery is the final resting place for numerous stars, including filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille, actress Jayne Mansfield, rockers Johnny and Dee Dee Ramone and silent film star Rudolph Valentino.

As Soundgarden’s frontman, Cornell was a leading voice of the grunge movement that came out of Seattle and became mainstream in the 1990s. He achieved success with all his musical endeavours, including the supergroup Audioslave, Temple of the Dog and solo albums.

His widow, Vicky, penned an open letter to her late husband that Billboard published online Wednesday.

“We had the time of our lives in the last decade and I’m sorry, my sweet love, that I did not see what happened to you that night. I’m sorry you were alone, and I know that was not you, my sweet Christopher. Your children know that too, so you can rest in peace,” she wrote.

Vicky Cornell has said the singer may have taken more of an anti-anxiety drug than he was prescribed.

“I’m broken, but I will stand up for you and I will take care of our beautiful babies. I will think of you every minute of every day and I will fight for you,” Vicky Cornell wrote. “You were right when you said we are soulmates. It has been said that paths that have crossed will cross again, and I know that you will come find me, and I will be here waiting.”

Cornell was a leader of the grunge movement with Seattle-based Soundgarden, with whom he gained critical and commercial acclaim. He also found success outside the band with other projects, including Audioslave and Temple of the Dog as well as solo albums.

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