Chris. I’ve been thinking of finding the words to best pay tribute since you passed away in May. Waiting for the right moment when I’d had time to process everything and was ready to sit down without bursting into tears. It finally hit me that, as it has in other areas of my life, that such a “right moment” may never come.

The word hero gets bandied around a lot, but I think of you more as a role model or teacher. I learned a great deal from listening to your music, which has influenced me as a player, singer and songwriter.

Furthermore your music often got me through hard times, and this year has been no exception. As somebody who has experienced anxiety and depression, I often relate to music that may seem dark or bleak to others. Like singing or playing the blues, there’s something cathartic about it. And it reminds me I’m not alone.

I wasn’t well physically or mentally the day of your death, and had been listening heavily to your songs to help me work through things. I was experiencing, not for the first time, thoughts of suicide. To hear the news the morning after was heartbreaking. And yet I couldn’t stop playing those albums. I drew strength from them as I’ve done before, and I feel sure I will continue to do so. I feel I owe you a great debt.

It’s a reassuring thought, the realisation that none of the impact you made in my life or those of others can be taken away. I can see I’m far from the only person whose life you have touched, be it family, friends or other fans like myself, and doubt that you will be forgotten any time soon. I certainly will be remembering you through my own music as long as I’m alive.

Thank you, Chris. For making a difference.

– Richard

Chris Cornell