Inspired by the film and song that powerfully depicted the atrocities committed against the Armenian people; the award recognizes an outstanding song, television show, or film that advances the values of equity and justice in an original and powerful way. Chris’s wife Vicky Cornell accepted the award on his behalf and was accompanied by Cornell’s bandmates, Kim Thayil and Matt Cameron of Soundgarden.
Pioneering recording artist Chris Cornell, who passed away in May, wrote the title song for the film, The Promise, the first major film about the Armenian Genocide. The song and its video compellingly weave the Genocide with humanitarian crises of today. The song focuses on courage, perseverance, and hope — connecting us to emotions that characterize and amplify the worldwide struggle for human rights. Cornell donated all proceeds from the song to benefit refugees and children, and his song continues to inspire millions as an anthem for the human rights movement.
“We are proud to name this award after The Promise, and present the inaugural award to Chris Cornell’s inspiring song,” stated Justin Connolly, Director of Human Rights Watch’s Los Angeles Committee.
Following the award, songwriter, Grammy Award-winning record producer, and OneRepublic front man Ryan Tedder graced the stage and honored the late Soundgarden lead by performing an acoustic version of “The Promise” with bandmate Drew Brown to a standing ovation.
In the above photo, Chris Cornell performs with Soundgarden at Carolina Rebellion on May 5, 2017. The singer/songwriter died on May 18, 2017. Photo: Sherri Crawford, Loud Girl Media