Chester Charles Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park, has taken his own life at the age of 41.
The sad news has been confirmed by the Los Angeles County coroner. Linkin Park bandmate Mike Shinoda also Tweeted, “Shocked and heartbroken, but it’s true. An official statement will come out as soon as we have one.”
Music was a constant in Bennington’s troubled childhood, and he was active in a couple of bands in his teens, including the post-grunge outfit Grey Daze. They released three albums before Bennington left in 1998.
An A&R guy changed everything the following year when he hooked Bennington up with the guys from Xero – who would later become Linkin Park. Bennington moved from Phoenix to California, and the band recorded the now legendary nu metal album Hybrid Theory, including tracks such as One Step Closer and Crawling. The album’s lyrics reflected Bennington’s teenage experiences and helped others with troubled lives know that they weren’t alone out there.
While Linkin Park continued to thrive, Bennington also found time to stretch his musical legs, co-founding Dead by Sunrise in 2005. They released the album Out of Ashes in 2009. He also appeared on Z-Trip’s album Shifting Gears and more recently performed with Kings of Chaos, who over the years have variously featured members of Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver, Def Leppard, Deep Purple, Kiss, Aerosmith, ZZ Top, Van Halen and more.
Bennington also replaced long-time lead singer Scott Weiland in Stone Temple Pilots in 2013, which was a dream for a guy who grew up worshipping the band. He had to leave in 2015 due to Linkin Park commitments, but it was all amicable.
Beyond band-work, Bennington also made small appearances in a handful of films – Crank, Crank: High Voltage and Saw 3D.
Bennington is survived by six children. Vale Chester Bennington.
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