Sad news music fans… Last night the news broke that Chester Bennington (lead singer of the American Rock Band, Linkin Park) had been found dead in his Los Angeles, California home. According to TMZ the cause of death was an apparent suicide by hanging.
I still remember listening to Hybrid Theory and Meteora on repeat in the early 2000’s. The first time I heard “Crawling” I was amazed by the vocal range of Chester Bennington and by his ability to scream and still sound audible to the listener. (Yes, although I understand why rock / metal vocalists scream, I’ve never been a huge fan of too much screaming in songs). I also really loved their songs “Faint” and “Somewhere I Belong” (because both of them had really awesome music videos and the lyrics were pretty damn awesome).
Though I lost interest in Linkin Park over the last few years (thanks to their softer, more commercial sound), I have always respected them for their overall contribution to music – they had a huge impact on the industry and inspired tons of artists in the first decade of the 21st Century.
He was only 41 years old and he leaves behind 6 kids from 3 different relationships / marriages (Jaime, his adopted son Isaiah, Draven, Tyler Lee and twins Lilly and Lila). This is a huge loss for music. RIP Chester Bennington, you will be missed.
He are a few things you might not have known about Chester Bennington and Linkin Park:
- The band’s name was actually supposed to be Lincoln Park, a play on and homage to Santa Monica’s Lincoln Park. However, they changed it to ‘Linkin’ as they couldn’t afford the domain name ‘lincolnpark.com’.
- Linkin Park had 2 incarnations before. The first incarnation was called Xero (which did not include Chester Bennington). The second incarnation was called Hybrid Theory (which didn’t last but was used as an album name for their breakthrough album).
- Chester Bennington worked at Burger King in 1996, the same year that Linkin Park was formed in Augora Hills, California.
- Chester was one of the most accident prone dudes in history. He was bitten by one of the most venomous spiders, the recluse spider. He pulled his back out picking up his luggage, tore a ligament while playing basketball and broke his wrist due to a stage dive in 2007.
- Linkin Park were the first rock band to achieve over one billion hits on YouTube. They hit the landmark with their 2009 single ‘New Divide’, which acted as the lead-off single to the Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen soundtrack scoring 131 million views on its own.
- At the time of Chester and his first wife’s wedding, they were too poor to afford rings (because he was working in Burger King at that time), so instead they got matching tattoos on their ring fingers.
- Linkin Park was turned down 44 times before they were eventually signed by Warner Brothers (who had turned them down three times beforehand).
- Bennington hauntingly sang Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ at his friend’s Chris Cornell’s Funeral a few months ago. He has been quoted as saying this about Chris’ death: “Thoughts of you flooded my mind, and I wept. You have inspired me in many ways you never could have known…I can’t imagine a world without you in it. I pray you find peace in the next life.” Chester committed apparent suicide yesterday, on what would have been Chris Cornell’s birthday.
- Linkin Park dedicated their new album album (One More Light) to Chris Cornell. It was released in May 2017.
- Bennington was married twice during his life. At the time of his death, he was married to his second wife, Talinda Bentley (a former Playboy model). He fathered 3 of his children with her.
- Chester was born as Chester Charles Bennington on 20 March 1976 in Phoenix, Arizona.
- Bennington formed his own band, Dead by Sunrise, as a side project in 2005. The band’s debut album, Out of Ashes, was released on October 13, 2009. He also worked on new material with Stone Temple Pilots in 2013 to release their EP High Rise on October 8, 2013 via their own record label, Play Pen.
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