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Chris Cornell to Posthumously Receive Inaugural ‘Promise Award’ Presented by System of a Down’s Serj Tankian

Cindy Ord, Getty Images
Cindy Ord, Getty Images

In the spring of this year, Chris Cornell released “The Promise,” a beautiful acoustic song he penned for the Christian Bale film of the same name that documents the last days of the Ottoman Empire and the genocide that swept through it. Cornell reflected on the Armenian Genocide in the track and used it as a vessel to further refugee advocacy, a cause close to his heart. Now, the Los Angeles Committee of Human Rights Watch will honor the late musician’s efforts with the inaugural “Promise Award” at a dinner on Nov. 14.

“The award recognizes an outstanding song, television show, or film that advances the values of equity and justice in an original and powerful way,” states a press release describing the purpose of the “Promise Award.” System of a Down‘s Serj Tankian, who is of Armenian descent, will be on site at the Voices for Justice Human Rights Watch Annual Dinner to present the award. The singer served as the Executive Music Consultant for The Promise film and also contributed a song to the soundtrack.

Since Cornell’s passing, celebrities like Cher, Elton John, Pharrell Williams, Jennifer Lopez, Christian Bale, George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Tom Hanks and Oscar Isaac vowed to maintain the rocker’s passion for refugee advocacy in a compilation video.

“‘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,” stated Cornell upon the song’s release.

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