Ernie C

Ernie C
Ernie C in 2019
Ernie C in 2019
Background information
Birth name Ernie Cunnigan
Born (1959-06-10) June 10, 1959 (age 62)
Compton, California, U.S.
  • Musician
  • record producer
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1990–present
Associated acts Body Count

Ernie Cunnigan (born June 10, 1959), better known by his stage name Ernie C, is an American musician best known as the guitarist of heavy metal band Body Count.[1]

Early life

Cunnigan grew up in Compton, California and attended Crenshaw High School with Ice-T.[2] Cunnigan was one of the few students attending the school who was interested in rock music. His uncle was an important influence. He introduced Cunnigan to different groups and a diverse number of styles in the genre. Cunnigan became an enthusiastic fan, eventually buying a guitar from his local music store. He dedicated himself to learning, starting at 12. He was entirely self-taught.[2]

Cunnigan's guitar playing and showmanship earned him respect among his fellow students, including members of the Crips gang.[2] He also taught guitar to fellow students, including D-Roc the Executioner, who later joined Body Count.

Music career

Cunnigan and Body Count bandmate Ice-T co-wrote the song "Cop Killer".[3] Cunnigan also produced demo tapes that led to the signings of Stone Temple Pilots and Rage Against the Machine, as well as the Forbidden album for Black Sabbath.[4]

As part of the Body Count, Cunnigan received his first Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance nomination in 2017 at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards for the song "Black Hoodie" from the band's sixth studio album, Bloodlust. He managed to win at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards ceremony, which was held on March 14, 2021, when he was nominated for the second time for the song "Bum-Rush" from the group's seventh album Carnivore.



  • Murder 4 Hire (2004)
  • Live in LA (2005)
  • Smoke Out Festival Presents: Body Count (2005)

Awards and nominations

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
2017 "Black Hoodie" Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance Nominated [5]
2020 "Bum-Rush" Won [6]


  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Body Count | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved March 15, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c Marrow, Tracy; Century, Douglas (2011). "Freedom of Speech". Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption—from South Central to Hollywood. Random House. pp. 127–140. ISBN 978-0-345-52328-0.
  3. ^ "Body Count "Cop Killer"". AllMusic. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
  4. ^ "AllMusic Forbidden credits". Retrieved June 20, 2009.
  5. ^ "Ernie C". February 9, 2021. Retrieved March 15, 2021.
  6. ^ "Ernie C". December 15, 2020. Retrieved March 15, 2021.

External links