Taylor Momsen Discusses Chris Cornell's Death On His Daughter's IGTV Series

By Katrina Nattress

March 31, 2021

Taylor Momsen not only saw Chris Cornell the night he died — she hugged him. Her band, The Pretty Reckless, was touring with Soundgarden when Chris took his life after their show at Fox Theatre in Detroit.

The singer spoke about the tragedy with Chris' daughter, Lily Cornell Silver, on the latest episode of her IGTV interview series Mind Wide Open. The topic arose when Lily asked about the making of The Pretty Reckless' latest album, Death by Rock and Roll, which Taylor admitted was born out of mourning.

“We were opening for Soundgarden, which, to me, was the highest of highs,” she recalled. ​“Respect is not the right word; I love your father, I love their music, I love Soundgarden so much, to my core that I still don’t know how to put it into words. To be on that tour opening for them was just the most incredible honour and experience of my life. Obviously, it ended tragically.”

"It's a bit bizarre to bring this up with you," she confessed.

“I credit [the writing of this album] to the reason that I’m still around today," Taylor added. "It’s the reason that I’m still here and it’s the thing that really pulled me through and allowed me to get to the other side of that dark hole.”

She continued to explain how she writes music for herself, no one else, and it sparked some words of wisdom Lily's father passed on to her.

“One of the pieces of advice my dad repeated throughout my entire life, especially when I got older and started really loving music," she shared, "he had always said to me, 'no matter what, you will never be successful unless you want to do it, because you’re doing it for the love of doing it. You won’t be successful if the ultimate goal is success.'"

When Lily launched the mental health series over the summer, she revealed that its title was inspired by a lyric her dad wrote.

"I was in a poetry class in high school, which is such a Seattle thing to do," she said. "But I had to write an archive piece, and my dad gave me some lyrics that he’d written in the ’90s for a song that I don’t think ever came out. One of the lyrics was 'Death is the mind wide open.' And that really, really stuck with me from the time he gave that to me in 2016."

"That’s really stuck with me over time," she added. "And it made me think there are so many other ways to have your mind wide open. For me, music is a way to have your mind wide open, or openly discussing mental health is a way to have your mind wide open. So especially since losing my dad, that’s been something for me to think about a lot. What are other ways to feel fulfilled and other ways to be present in this moment? I think the series is definitely one of those for me."

Watch Taylor and Lily discuss grief, music, and so much more above.

Photo: Getty Images

The Pretty RecklessChris CornellSoundgarden
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