Brad Pitt Supports Chris Cornell's Kids at Tribute Concert: Inside the Actor's Bond With the Late Rocker

The actor introduced the late artist's daughter at the benefit

By Corinne Heller Jan 17, 2019 6:11 PMTags
Brad Pitt, A Tribute To Chris Cornell Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Chris Cornell Estate

Chris Cornell will be remembered as one of the most talented musicians and rock vocalists of all time. To Brad Pitt, he will also be remembered as a friend.

The actor attended the "I Am the Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell" benefit on Wednesday to honor the late musician and support his family.

At one point in the evening, Pitt took the stage to introduce Cornell's daughter, Toni, who performed a rendition of her father's hit "Redemption Song" with Ziggy Marley.

"It's my privilege to introduce to you a very special duet," the Oscar winner said. "Just her third time on the mic, Toni Cornell and Ziggy Marley. Give it up!"

In addition, the Ocean's Eleven star posed for a picture with Toni and her brother, Christopher, backstage. Their sibling, Lillian, also took the stage at one point to say a few words about her late father.

Miley Cyrus and More Stars Give Heartfelt Performances at Chris Cornell Tribute Concert

Pitt wasn't the only celebrity to attend the event. Leonardo DiCaprio, Christian BaleTom HanksCourteney CoxCameron CroweKaley CuocoDavid SpadeJosh BrolinJohn Carter CashSam and Aaron Taylor-Johnson were just a few of the other A-listers to show their support. The benefit also featured a star-studded lineup. Miley Cyrus, Chris StapletonRita WilsonAdam LevineJesse CarmichaelStone GossardMetallica, and the Foo Fighters all took the stage. Nikka Costa, Alain JohannesJosh HommeAudioslaveRyan Adams and Temple of the Dog also performed, and Soundgarden closed out the show.

The event was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and presented by Cornell's wife, Vicky, and the late star's family and friends. The benefit raised over $1 million for The Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation, as well as for The Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation.

This wasn't the first time Pitt had come to support the family since Cornell's death. He was also spotted taking the Soundgarden singer's children to Universal Studios just a few months after the rocker's passing.

Cornell died in May 2017 at the age of 52. During Cornell's lifetime, Pitt was not only a friend of the artist but also a fan. 

"I'm a big Chris Cornell addict, anything he does," Pitt told Cinema Confidential in 2004, when asked about his favorite music.

The actor had attended several of Cornell's concerts and was spotted at one of his shows at Los Angeles' Wiltern Theater in 2009.

"He was right among the people, and no one was really bothering him too much," a source told Celebuzz at the time. "[Pitt] stayed for the entire show, encore and all, and left with the crowd. He didn't even try to slip out early. His body guard wasn't with him, just a driver."

Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for EBMRF

Cornell and Pitt's families had hung out together. In 2010, the actor brought daughter Zahara to Toni's sixth birthday party at an American Girl store.

Cornell had also supported Pitt's acting work over the years. The musician attended the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival to help promote the biopic Machine Gun Preacher after composing the movie's theme song. At the event, he and his wife also stopped by the premiere of Pitt's latest film, Moneyball.

Coincidentally, Pitt's fondness for Cornell's music is even depicted on the big screen in a way; In the 1993 film True Romance, Soundgarden's song "Outshined" plays while the actor's character smokes from a bong made out of a Honey Bear bottle and gets questioned by the mob.

Pitt and Cornell also reunited just months before the singer's death, when the actor joined him and fellow rocker Sting onstage at the fourth annual charity ROCK4EB! Event. The musicians performed the 1983 hit "Every Breath You Take" as well as Soundgarden's 1994 hit "Black Hole Sun."

"I get to introduce a very very good friend of mine and someone I've known for quite a while and I'm a huge fan of, Mr. Chris Cornell," the actor told the crowd.

(This story was originally published May 18, 2017 at 11:30 a.m. PST).