Chris Cornell’s 12-year-old daughter, Toni, performed alongside OneRepublic a moving tribute to her late father and his close friend, Chester Bennington, who both died earlier this year.
The iconic Soundgarden frontman passed away on May 18. Cornell was 52. His death was ruled a suicide by hanging. The Linkin Park rocker died two months later on July 20, on what would have been Cornell’s 53rd birthday. Bennington was 41 and his death was also ruled a suicide by hanging.
Toni and OneRepublic performed a moving cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” to honor the two musicians during Good Morning America’s Summer Concert series. The emotional tribute comes less than three months after Toni lost her dad, and just weeks after Bennington died.
They said they chose the song because Bennington performed it at Cornell’s funeral. “Chester sang this at Chris’ funeral and, this is arguably one of the greatest songs written in the last 50 years,” OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder said. “It’s a very special song to us, and I think most people and Toni, as well.”
Toni said, “It’s an honor to perform this for my dad and Chester and to sing for them.”
Linkin Park was scheduled to perform as part of GMA’s Summer Concert series, but after they canceled their tour due to Bennington’s death, OneRepublic stepped in their place.
A month after Cornell’s death, Toni and her sister, Lillian Jean, 17, wrote letters to the late rocker in honor of Father’s Day. The letters were shared by her mother, Vicky Cornell.
“Let me start by saying how much I love you and how much you mean to me,” Toni’s wrote. “You are my idol, someone I’ve always looked up to. You were always there for me. You pushed me forward every day, and you still do.”
“Whenever I cry or feel like there’s no way I can go on, I hear your voice, ‘Don’t sit worrying peanut. Worry is a waste of time, I’m ok,’ ” she continued. “I always took what you said to heart. Probably because everything you said was so smart.”