Ann Wilson Continues to Wear Her Heart on Her Sleeve As a Solo Artist
Earlier on this leg of her solo tour, Ann Wilson was slated to perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, which was going to include a couple of her greatest hits. Then Chris Cornell died. Wilson, and her sister Nancy were the unofficial godmothers of the Seattle rock scene. Losing the Soundgarden frontman, a longtime friend, had a devastating impact on the singer.
“Chris inspired me because he was a great person and he was an artistic nomad,” Wilson says over the phone before a show in Kansas City. “He never stopped moving. That inspired me a lot. When he was done, he was done. He was never going to fade away.”
The morning following Cornell’s death, Wilson and her band set out to pay tribute to their fallen friend. The result? A stirring rendition of “Black Hole Sun” that managed to capture the spirit of the song in that spellbinding version. The unplanned performance was one of the musical highlights of Kimmel this year.
“We were going to play something else, then we got the news about Chris that morning,” she explains. “Our heads were spinning around, but it was pretty spur of the moment. But, a good song is a good song. Just like ‘I Am the Highway,’ it had the most incredibly cool words and he was doing vocal gymnastics with it. It hit really hard.”