Ann Wilson of Heart Covers Audioslave’s ‘I Am the Highway’ to Honor Chris Cornell


Story by Anne Erickson, photo by Ken Settle

Audioslave’s ‘I Am the Highway’ gets a makeover from Ann Wilson of Heart

Ann Wilson of Heart has unleashed a cover of the popular Audioslave song, “I Am the Highway,” in honor of late Audioslave, Soundgarden and Temple of the Dog frontman Chris Cornell. The stripped-down performance is streaming now via Soundcloud.

Wilson was tight with Cornell, and they both hail from Seattle. Speaking with Rolling Stone, she says that she was also emotionally connected to Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington, who committed suicide two months after Cornell did the same. Bennington passed away on what would have marked Cornell’s ‘s 53rd birthday.

Wilson recalls being scheduled to perform on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” on May 18, 2017, the day Cornell passed away, and Linkin Park also being on that day’s schedule. Before the show, Bennington wanted to talk with Wilson.

“He was really a mess,” Wilson said of Bennington. “So anxious and sad and had to go onstage in a minute. I think that Chris’ departure hit (Bennington) hard because he recognized the impulse. He had been hit by this news. There was a lot of fear there.”

“I said to him, let’s just breathe here and look in each other’s eyes and go ‘we’re still here right now, let’s just do this,'” she added. “A couple of weeks later, he was gone.” Wilson also said that Cornell and Bennington “seemed to resemble each other.”

“I think they knew each other and they had probably commiserated,” she said. “I wouldn’t say one made the other happen, but Chris’ death obviously affected Chester deeply.”

Wilson’s cover of Audioslave’s “I Am the Highway” will arrive on her upcoming studio album, “Immortal,” out on Sept. 14. The album pays respect to a handful of musicians who recently passed away, including David Bowie, Tom Petty and George Michael.

Anne Erickson
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