Chester Bennington, lead singer of the hugely popular band Linkin Park, has reportedly commited suicide at the age of 41. TMZ reports that Bennington hung himself at his private residence in Palos Verdes Estates in L.A. County. Law enforcement officals say that his body was discovered just before 9am on Thursday. Bennington had a history with drugs and alcohol in the past in addition to being abused as a child.
Chester Bennington and his Linkin Park band mates were recently at the funeral for Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell who committed suicide in the same manner back in May of this year. Cornell and Bennington were good friends and Bennington sung the song "Hallelujah" at Cornell's funeral. Bennington wrote a hearfelt letter to Cornell speaking of the ways that he was inspired by him as well as their friendship while praising the late singer's talents. Bennington said this to Cornell in an open letter.
"You have inspired me in many ways you could never have known. Your talent was pure and unrivaled. Your voice was joy and pain, anger and forgiveness, love and heartache all wrapped up into one. I suppose that's what we all are. You helped me understand that."
Bennington shot to fame with his band Linkin Park in the late 90s during the new metal explosion, offering some much needed melody to soundscape around them that had more to do with Cookie Monster than singing. The band's debut record went straight to number one selling over 11 million copies in the United States alone. They would later record the title track for Transformers: Dark of the Moon, with the song 'Iridescent'.
Bennington even stepped in to sing for Stone Temple Pilots after Scott Weiland quit the band. Bennington loved singing with his heroes while keeping his day job with Linkin Park. The band has since put out 7 albums and toured the world numerous times. Their latest album just came out in May of 2017 to mixed reviews due to the band continuing to expand their sonic palette.
Chester Bennington collaborated with many artists, but one of his most memorable collaborations was when he joined Stone Temple Pilots after singer Scott Weiland quit the band. STP and Bennington recorded one EP and did some touring, playing festivals to favorable reviews from fans and critics. Weiland died in December of 2015 of an apparent drug overdose and Bennington decided to leave STP 3 months later to focus on his family. Bennington was a father of six children from two wives.
Bennington was born March 20th, 1976 in Phoenix, Arizona and was the son of a police officer. He had a rough upbringing and was molested by an older friend as a young child. Bennington had brought up the topic of suicide in interviews over the scars of his childhood and ultimately spoke out about his struggles to help others. He later discovered drugs and alcohol, but stopped by 1992, but the addictions would come back into his life later. The rock world has taken yet another blow with the suicide of Chester Bennington, just a few months after the suicide of Chris Cornell. Bennington leaves behind six children, so if you or anyone you know is struggling, please do not hesitate to reach out and get the help that you need.