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Father’s Day is rough when you’ve lost your dad.
They say it’s the first one that gets you, but I think it’s the one after that – the one that’s got a little distance between it and the day your world was turned upside down. It sneaks up on you and if you’re not prepared, all of the department store ads for Father’s Day gifts and colorful “Best Dad Ever” cards lining drugstore shelves can feel like the world’s worst sucker punch, reopening a wound you swore up and down was finally starting to heal, maybe just a little bit.
13-year-old Toni Cornell was prepared, and the result was a gift not just for her dad, late Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell, but for herself: their duet of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U”.
Written by Prince for his side project The Family and made famous by Sinead O’Connor in 1990, “Nothing Compares 2 U” was a favorite of Cornell’s – one he famously covered live at SiriusXM in 2016 shortly after Prince’s death. Toni took to her dad’s official YouTube channel yesterday to post their duet of “Nothing Compares 2 U,” the teen’s vocals overlaid with his for a final product that brings new meaning to a song that most folks typically think of as a breakup track.
Cornell added a caption to the YouTube track, saying:
I love you and miss you so much. You were the best father anyone could ask for. Our relationship was so special, and you were always there for me. You gave me courage when I didn’t have any. You believed in me when I didn’t. I miss your love everyday. Recording this song with you was a special and amazing experience I wish I could repeat 100 times over and I know you would too.
Happy Father’s Day daddy, nothing compares to you.”
This isn’t the first time Toni or her singing have been in the spotlight; in 2015 she joined Chris onstage at New York’s Beacon Theatre for a duet of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song,” and last summer she appeared on Good Morning America with OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder for a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” in honor of her late father and Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington, who committed suicide only months after Cornell.
Toni Cornell has been through a lot in the last year, but something tells us she’ll be alright. She’s got her mother’s fighting spirit and her father’s heart, the perfect combination for any kid who will need to be tough but gentle when she heads out into the world.
Here’s hoping that the future sees Toni embarking on a singing career of her own but more importantly, here’s hoping that she’s the only thing her father ever wanted her to be: