For plenty of celebrity relationships, the lives of the less famous spouse often disappears into the giant shadow their more popular partner. However, this is not the case with Susan Silver, who despite having been married to one of the most popular rock singers in America, Chris Cornell, she has been able to hold on to her name and professional excellence as one of the leading music managers in the music industry.
Susan Silver, who many will remember as the manager of Chris Cornell’s band, Soundgarden, has her own management company and has been in the industry since 1983, managing several music groups, especially those out of Seattle. Learn more about Susan Silver, her career and her relationship with Chris Cornell below.
Susan Silver’s Biography
Susan Silver was born Susan Jean Silver on the 17th of July, 1958 in Seattle, Washington. She was the born to parents Samuel and Emmogene Silver as the first of three children. How Susan came to fall in love with music to the extent of working in the industry as a manager is unknown but before she began, she first took the traditional path of academics.
Following the completion of her high school years, she headed to the University of Washington where she studied Chinese, a rather curious decision. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in the subject, she kickstarted her career in music management in 1983, at the age of 25.
Becoming a successful music manager is determined by a lot of factors, one of the important ones being your first client. Luckily for Susan Silver, her first client, The U-Men turned out to be a strong and talented group of musicians. She subsequently signed another band, First Thought before signing her third band, Screaming Trees and later, Soundgarden, which had Chris Cornell as its lead singer.
Over the course of her time as a music manager, she signed other bands and ran a shoe store that eventually became iconic for providing the famous shoes won by grunge bands from Seattle. Also as part of her work as a manager, she appeared in several music videos for songs from her bands, including one from Alice in Chains, which was released in 2005. She was also part of a documentary, Metal Evolution in 2011.
Although Susan Silver retired temporarily from music management in 1998 as part of her efforts to build a family, she returned to management in 2005, establishing another company, Atmosphere Artist Management along with Deborah Semer.
Relationship with Chris Cornell
Before she became the manager of Soundgarden in 1986, Susan Silver and Chris Cornell had met in 1985 and began dating. After taking over the management of the band and the subsequent solid ground on which their relationship appeared to be on, Susan and Cornell took their relationship to the next level and got married in 1990.
Things continued to take the appearance of stability in their relationship well into the new millennium when they welcomed their only child, a daughter Lillian Jean who was born in June 2000. However, not long after, in 2004, the couple completed their divorce.
The divorce was anything but amicable with both of them spending time in court, hurling several accusations against each other, including fraud and stolen memorabilia. Their court battles eventually ended in 2008 with Susan Silver ordered to return some of Chris’ properties.
Susan Silver’s Children
Susan Silver has only one child, Lillian Jean whom she had with her only husband so far, Chris Cornell. Lillian Jean was just four years of age when her parents got divorced and she has remained outside the spotlight ever since. Considering the nature of her parents’ divorce, it is also difficult to ascertain who kept custody of their child after the divorce.
Other Facts About Susan Silver
- The song, Moonchild, which was written by Cornell for his solo album, Euphoria Morning was for Susan Silver.
- She helped with the organization of a memorial service for Kurt Cobain in Seattle.
- Although she closed down her management company, Susan Silver Management in the late 90s, she still manages one of her bands, Alice in Chains.
- She is a co-owner of a club, The Crocodile which is also based in Seattle. The club is rated one of the best clubs in America, with other owners like Sean Kinney, Peggy Curtis, and Eric Howk.
- Her ex-husband, Chris Cornell died from suicide on the 17th of May, 2017.