HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com/AP) — Music’s elite and celebrities remembered Chris Cornell at a somber memorial service Friday at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery that focused on the Soundgarden frontman’s love of family and friends as much as it did on his musical achievements as one of rock’s leading voices.
“Chris was as melodic as The Beatles, as rocking as Sabbath and as haunting as Edgar Allan Poe,” said Tom Morello, Cornell’s bandmate in the supergroup Audioslave, during his eulogy.
Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington performed Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” for the crowd of mourners, including Brad Pitt, Pharrell Williams, Christian Bale and numerous members of rock royalty, some of whom were driven to tears.
Four large portraits of Cornell were on display on a dais where Morello, actor Josh Brolin and the rocker’s Soundgarden bandmates Kim Thayil and Matt Cameron delivered eulogies under overcast skies at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Fans gathered outside the cemetery’s gates hours before the start of a public memorial which was scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.
Cornell died May 18 in a Detroit hotel room. Coroner’s officials said the 52-year-old grunge-rock icon hanged himself, and the singer’s attorney, Kirk Pasich, told “Entertainment Tonight” that he was cremated in Los Angeles Tuesday.
The private ceremony ended and mourners headed to Cornell’s final resting place in the Garden of Legends section of Hollywood Forever Cemetery. “All Night Thing” by the band Temple of the Dog, which Cornell was a member of, played during the procession.
Flowers and several red roses were placed on Cornell’s grave marker, which reads, “Voice of our generation and an artist for all time”
Cornell is buried near Johnny Ramone, whose headstone includes a statue of the punk rocker playing guitar.
Among those who came to pay tribute were Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield of Metallica, Dave Navarro of Jane’s Addiction, singer-songwriter Joe Walsh and Bush’s Gavin Rossdale.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery is the final resting place for numerous stars, including Jayne Mansfield, Douglas Fairbanks, Rudolph Valentino and Cecil B. DeMille.
Cornell’s family has questioned the events leading up to his death, saying he may have ingested an overdose of anti-anxiety medication. Pasich told “Entertainment Tonight” that Cornell was a recovering addict and had a prescription for Ativan, but he may have taken too much of the medication.
He is survived by his wife of 13 years, Vicky, and their two children – 12-year-old daughter Toni and 11-year-old son Christopher.
Vicky Cornell penned an open letter to her husband that was posted online by Billboard on Wednesday in which she promised to fight for him and take care of their children.
“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.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)