Chester Charles Bennington (March 20, 1976 – died July 20, 2017) LINKIN Park released new music video Talking to Myself on Thursday morning – completely unaware lead singer Chester Bennington’s body was being discovered around the same time.
The now poignant video followed the shenanigans of the band while on tour in a split screen montage, and saw them travel the world together.
Chester Bennington, the Linkin Park lead singer whose screeching vocals helped the rock-rap band become one of the most commercially successful acts in the 2000s, was found dead in his home near Los Angeles on Thursday. Bennington was 41.
Chester Bennington was born in Phoenix, Arizona. His mother was a nurse, while his father was a police detective who worked with child sex abuse cases and took double shifts. Bennington took interest in music at a young age, citing bands Depeche Mode and Stone Temple Pilots as his early inspirations, and dreamed of becoming a member of Stone Temple Pilots.
Bennington’s parents divorced when Bennington was 11 years old, and his father gained custody of him. After the divorce, Bennington started abusing marijuana, alcohol, opium, cocaine, methamphetamine, and LSD. Bennington eventually overcame his drug addiction, and would go on to denounce drug use in future interviews. During one Linkin P tour, Bennington started heavily drinking. In 2011, Bennington claimed to have quit, noting: “I just don’t want to be that person anymore.”
In an interview, Bennington revealed that he suffered sexual abuse from an older male friend when Bennington was seven years old. Bennington was afraid to ask for help because Bennington did not want people to think Bennington was gay or lying, and the abuse continued until the age of 13. The abuse and situation at home affected him so much that Bennington felt the urge to kill and run away. To comfort himself, Bennington drew pictures, and wrote poetry and songs. Later, Bennington revealed the abuser’s identity to his father, but chose not to continue the case after Bennington realized the abuser was a victim himself.
At the age of 17, Bennington moved in with his mother, and was banned from leaving the house when his mother discovered his drug activity. Bennington worked at a Burger King before starting his career as a professional musician. Bennington was physically bullied in high school. In an interview, Bennington said: “I was knocked around like a rag doll at school, for being skinny and looking different.”
Los Angeles Coroner spokesman Brian Elias said authorities were investigating Bennington’s death, which was first broken by the website TMZ, as an apparent suicide at Palos Verdes Estates, but no additional details were available.
It was uploaded to their YouTube and social media channels at 9.01am – and in a heartbreaking coincidence, reports suggest that Chester, 41, was discovered shortly before 9am.
The song is the latest release from their new linkin album, One More Light, which was released earlier this year.
Heavy, the first track to be released from the record, spoke of struggling to deal with the world around him and appeared to suggest suicidal thoughts.
In the chorus, Bennington talks about how he is dragging around issues that are bringing him down before chillingly adding: “If I just let go, I’d be set free.”
The Los Angeles County coroner has confirmed the death of leader singer Chester on Thursday evening, with TMZ reporting Bennington was found dead in a private residence in Palo Verdes Estates, Los Angeles.
It is believed the singer dead hanged himself and Bennington was found by an employee.
His death was reportedly caused by hanging, according to TMZ.
Band co-founder and producer Mike Shinoda said on Twitter he was “shocked and saddened.”
Bennington first gained prominence as a vocalist following the release of Linkin Park’s debut album, Hybrid Theory, in 2000, which became a commercial success. The album was certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America in 2005, making it the best-selling debut album of the decade, as well as one of the few albums to ever hit that many sales. Dave Farrell, the bassist, simply tweeted: “Heartbroken”.
“Chester Bennington was an artist of extraordinary talent and charisma, and a human being with a huge heart and a caring soul. Our thoughts and prayers are with his beautiful family, his band-mates and his many friends,” Warner Bros. Records CEO and Chairman Cameron Stang said in a statement. The Arizona-born singer was a close friend of Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell, who tragically died, also by suicide, earlier this year.
He performed Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” at Cornell’s funeral, and wrote a moving open letter to the music star after his death, describing how Cornell had “a pure and unrivalled talent” and ” inspired me in many ways you could never have known”.
He was the godfather of Cornell’s 11-year-old son, Chris. Cornell’s 53rd birthday would have been Thursday. “The Cornell family is overwhelmed by the heartbreaking news about Chester Bennington which tragically comes so soon after their family’s own loss,” said a Cornell family spokesperson.
“They open up their loving arms to Chester’s family and share in the sorrow with all those who loved him.”
“Just when I thought my heart couldn’t break any more,” Cornell’s wife Vicky tweeted on Thursday on hearing of Bennignton’s death.