Ernie C

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Ernie C
Bodycount-Ernie C-2006.jpg
Ernie C in 2006
Background information
Birth nameErnie Cunnigan
Born (1959-06-10) June 10, 1959 (age 60)
Compton, California
GenresHeavy metal, thrash metal, speed metal
Occupation(s)Musician, producer
Years active1990–present
LabelsSire, Virgin, Escapi Music, Sumerian Records (2014)
Associated actsBody Count

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

Cunnigan was a special guest in one episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast.

Early life[edit]

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. Ernie's uncle was an important influence. He introduced Ernie to different groups and a diverse number of styles in the genre. Ernie 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] Cunnigan also taught guitar to fellow students, including D-Roc the Executioner, who later joined Body Count.

Music career[edit]

Cunnigan and 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] Today, Cunnigan still plays for Body Count.



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


  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Biography-Body Count". Allmusic. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
  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.

External links[edit]