Late Soundgarden/Audioslave singer Chris Cornell‘s 17-year-old daughter, Toni Cornell paid tribute to her dad on The Tonight Show on Thursday night (Dec. 16) with a moving cover of the heart-rending power ballad “Nothing Compares 2 U.”
The song, which appeared on the posthumous 2020 Cornell covers compilation No One Sings Like You Anymore, Vol. 1 — which also featured the late rock icon’s takes on songs by Janis Joplin, Harry Nilsson, Guns N’ Roses, John Lennon and ELO, among others — was originally written by Prince for his side group The Family and made famous by Sinead O’Connor’s 1990 Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 smash version.
Accompanied by piano, acoustic guitar and a string quartet, the teen swayed slightly as she gripped the mic stand with both hands and nailed the moving homage to loss, imbuing it with a slight country twang. “It’s been so lonely without you here/ Like a bird without a song,” Toni sang in a steady, strong voice as the strings swelled behind her. “Nothing can stop these lonely tears from falling/ Tell me, baby, where did I go wrong/ I could put my arms around every boy I see/ But they’d only remind me of you.”
Back in 2018, Toni shared her dad’s cover of “Nothing” to celebrate Father’s Day, writing, “Daddy, 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.”
Cornell, 52, died in May 2017 after being found dead in Detroit hotel room following a Soundgarden show at the Fox Theatre earlier that night.