Rock Royalty and Hollywood Heavyweights Gather as Chris Cornell Laid to Rest
The Soundgarden frontman was interred at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery
The Soundgarden frontman was found dead of suicide by hanging at MGM Grand Detroit following the band’s performance at the Michigan city’s Fox Theatre May 18.
Over the weekend, Cornell’s body was flown to California, where it was cremated Tuesday, the family’s attorney Kirk Pasich previously told PEOPLE in a statement. Friday’s funeral service was private, but was followed by a public memorial later in the day.
Family — including Cornell’s wife Vicky and his children — friends and bandmates gathered on the Fairbanks Lawn under overcast skies, making their way to rows of white chairs as Audioslave’s “Like a Stone” played over the loudspeakers, USA Today reports.
“Chris was as melodic as The Beatles, as heavy as Sabbath and as haunting as Edgar Allan Poe,” Tom Morello, Cornell’s Audioslave bandmate, said during his eulogy. “The demons he wrestled with were real, but he harnessed those demons and rode them like a mother-flipping chariot of lightning strapped with Marshall stacks to make some of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll of all time.”
“Losing my brother and artistic soulmate will always pale in comparison with you three kids losing your dad,” Soundgarden’s Matt Cameron said. “Let it be known that I am here for you and will forever be in your lives.”
Close friends Kim Thayil of Soundgarden, Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam, Chester Bennington and Brad Delson of Linkin Park, and actor Josh Brolin also gave eulogies.
Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Courtney Love, Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters, Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic, Perry Farrell and Dave Navarro of Jane’s Addiction, Metallica’s Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield, Bush’s Gavin Rossdale, Pharrell, Billy Idol, Joe Walsh, Fred Armisen and James Franco were pictured at the service.
On May 18, the Wayne County, Michigan medical examiner completed an autopsy and confirmed that the musician had died of suicide by hanging.
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Cornell’s family has stated since the ruling, however, that they didn’t believe Cornell to be suicidal. The star’s wife said she believes that the side effects of the prescription drug Ativan – which can cause worsening depression and thoughts of self-harm in rare cases – may have impacted Cornell. Toxicology reports are still pending, which may answer lingering questions about the circumstances of Cornell’s death.
“He’s been clean for years,” Detroit artist and musician Kevin Morris — a friend of Cornell’s and onetime roadie for the singer’s bands – told PEOPLE exclusively. “He talked to his wife right before and right after the show… He was working very hard to make everyone happy. He loved Detroit.”
Added Morris, “What was troubling him I don’t think we’ll ever know. I think he was a little nervous about playing in Detroit, the music capital of the world, and he took a little too much of the Ativan.”
Longtime manager Ron Laffitte told CNN ahead of the funeral Friday, “Very often times people who are in recovery have a relapse or a slip. I think unfortunately what so often happens when a recovering addict has a slip is they return to a level where they left off as opposed to easing their way back in.”
Earlier this week, Cornell’s wife Vicky released a touching farewell letter to her husband, recounting their love story and his legacy.
“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. “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. You were right when you said we are soul mates. 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.”
A friend of the Cornells told PEOPLE exclusively that they were “a happy and close family — he was more rock n roll than the other dads in their circle, but very normal and friendly. You would never think there was anything troubling him. He was a hands on and caring father.”
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).