Toni Cornell, Chris Cornell’s 12-year-old daughter, took to the “Good Morning America” stage in Central Park Friday morning to perform a moving tribute to her late father and his friend Chester Bennington.
Toni was onstage with OneRepublic, and together they perform a stirring rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”
OneRepublic substitute in place of Linkin Park, who was initially in plan to play prior to Bennington’s death. The bandmates told ABC News they were honored to pay tribute to both Bennington and Chris.
As OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder explained to “GMA” co-host Michael Strahan, they chose to play “Hallelujah” because Bennington sang it at Chris’ funeral. And it is “arguably one of the greatest songs in the last 50 years.”
Toni told Strahan it was “an honor” to perform for her dad. And Chester before the co-host praised her for her bravery. Once the performance began, Toni and Tedder had the crowd in tears.
Toni’s dad died in May of this year. In a statement, the singer’s representative Brian Bumbery called the rocker’s suicide “sudden and unexpected.”
Bennington was dead on July 20 ― on the day when Cornell’s 53rd birthday was ― in his home in California. The vocalist’s death is rule as a suicide.
The two musicians were friends for years, and even was on tour together. Following Chris Cornell’s death, Bennington wrote a touching letter to the Soundgarden singer. Saying, “I’m still weeping, with sadness, as well as gratitude for having shared some very special moments with you and your beautiful family.”
As Bennington’s Linkin Park bandmate Mike Shinoda recalls in a May interview, Bennington was deeply in affection by his friend’s loss of life. Linkin Park dedicate a song to Chris during one of their performances following Chris’ death. Bennington overcome with emotion and was in trouble getting through the performance.