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Chris Cornell’s Touching Final Music Video ‘The Promise’ Arrives in Honor of World Refugee Day

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Since the tragic death of Chris Cornell last month, it has become widely apparent that the icon’s music and words resonated deeply around the world. Known for his compassion, it’s fitting that this notion plays out in what has turned out to be his final music video, which coincides with World Refugee Day.

Earlier this year, Cornell unveiled “The Promise,” a song he penned for a film of the same name which documents the last days of the Ottoman Empire. More specifically, the tune was written as an homage to the Armenian Genocide and the Meiert Avis-directed video features stirring clips of genuine refugee footage set to the emotional words laid down by Cornell.

We see clips of destruction and citizens fleeing for safety with many of them taking to the open water, hoping to survive the harrowing trek and land in safer territories. While this footage takes a gut-wrenching toll on the viewer, Eric Esrailian (producer of The Promise) told Rolling Stone (who hosted the video premiere) that Cornell expressed a desire for the video to ultimately convey a more uplifting message despite its grim nature.

“Chris had the idea of, ‘How can we bridge the video … with fear-inducing images of what people have to deal with as well as messages and images of hope and perseverance and resilience and survival,’ which is what the song is also about,” commented Esrailian.

“Although it is bittersweet because Chris filmed his performance in Brooklyn, N.Y. shortly before his passing, he wanted his video to be released on World Refugee Day and he was passionate about helping people through this project. True to Chris’ charitable spirit, he made a commitment to donate all of his proceeds from The Promise to support refugees and children and to further the conversation about the refugee crisis the world continues to endure,” the producer added.

Touching on the legend’s personal character, Ersailian said, “Chris Cornell was not only a dear family friend for many years, but he was also a once-in-a generation talent who is missed more than words can convey. It was such an honor to collaborate and partner on The Promise over the years. His music and lyrics will not only shine a light on the Armenian Genocide and the human rights crises of modern times, but they will also inspire people and provide hope for years to come.

Soundgarden tweeted a link to the video while stating, “Today, we honor Chris’ wish to launch his video on World Refugee Day & Keep the Promise to support refugees & children.”

Upon the release of “The Promise,” Cornell stated, in part, “‘The Promise’ to me is mainly about paying homage to those we lost in the Armenian Genocide, but it’s also about shining a light on more recent atrocities. The same methods used in the Armenian genocide were used to carry out crimes against humanity in Bosnia, Darfur, Rwanda and right now in Syria on multiple fronts, contributing to a massive global refugee crisis. Unfortunately, the words ‘never again’ seem like just words when we recall these mass executions of the twentieth century, as well as renewed racism and prejudice around the world.”

The Promise was released at the box office in late April, grossing over $8 million. For more information on the film, click here.

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