Remembering Chester Bennington: 5 facts about the Linkin Park singer

Getty Images | Isaac Brekken

Rock music lost another talented frontman with the death of Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington.

According to the officials, Bennington appears to have died by suicide.

Brian Elias, chief of operations for the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner talked to Rolling Stone about the celebrity’s death.

“Shortly after 9 a.m. this morning [Thursday], we were notified by law enforcement of a death in Palos Verdes Estates,” Elias said. “We responded to the scene and unfortunately confirmed that Mr. Chester Bennington was deceased at the scene.”

After TMZ first reported Bennington’s death, word spread quickly across social media. Fans hoped the news was simply a hoax. However, they got the sobering confirmation from Linkin Park bandmate Mike Shinoda on Twitter:

Bennington leaves behind a wife and six children. Of course, he also leaves a legacy of music for the world to hear and appreciate. He died at the age of 41.

In Bennington’s memory, here are five fast facts about the man and his career.

1. An Audition Got Bennington The Linkin Park Gig

The rock star got his start in the music business in a rather traditional way: an audition. According to The New York Times, 23-year-old Bennington got a demo tape of a band called Xero. Bennington already had a local grunge band going, but liked Mike Shinoda’s songs. So he decided to go audition for Shinoda.

“I had these great melodies in my head and I couldn’t get them across,” Shinoda told Kerrang! I wanted to find someone who could do them justice.”

They found their man in Bennington.

chester bennington photo
Getty Images | Rich Fury

2. Bennington Is A Two-Time Grammy Winner

Linkin Park earned six Grammy nominations during its tenure. Of those six nominations, the band had two wins.

The first was in 2001 for Best Hard Rock Performance for “Crawling.” Linkin Park won this Grammy the same year they got nominated for Best New Arist and Best Rock Album.

The band won their second Grammy in 2005 for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for “Numb/Encore.” Linkin Park teamed up with Jay-Z for this award-winning song.

3. Not A One-Band Frontman

Bennington might best be known as the lead singer for Linkin Park. However, he took on a number of other projects, too.

In 2005, he founded the band Dead by Sunrise. With this band, he worked on edgier music than he did with Linkin Park.

“I came up with a few songs that felt and sounded really good, but I knew they weren’t right stylistically for Linkin Park,” Bennington told Metal Hammer. “They were darker and moodier than anything I’d come up with for the band. So I decided to work on them on my own,” he said.

Then, in 2013, he became the front man for Stone Temple Pilots. Taking over for the fired Scott Weiland, Bennington performed with the popular group for two years before returning to Linkin Park.

4. He Openly Discussed His Depression

Chester Bennington struggled with depression for much of his life. Yet, he didn’t hide it. In fact, he shared it through his songwriting and in his interviews.

In an interview published by The Mirror the day after Bennington’s death, the singer spoke honestly about his battles.

“I came to a point in my life where I was like, ‘I can either just give up and [expletive] die or I can [expletive] fight for what I want.’ And I chose to fight for what I wanted. I wanted to have good relationships. I wanted to love the people in my life. I wanted to enjoy my job.  I wanted to enjoy being a dad and having friends and just getting up in the morning. Because that was a struggle for me.”

Friends and fans took to social media to express their condolences and discuss the impact of depression on the rock singer.

5. He Had A Close Friendship With Chris Cornell

Chester Bennington and the late singer Chris Cornell had a close friendship. Cornell, the 52-year-old former Audioslave singer, died on May 17 at age 52 by suicide.

The two became friends while touring together in 2008, according to CNN. When Bennington heard about Cornell’s death two months ago, he posted a letter to him on Instagram.

He even performed a haunting version of Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” at Cornell’s funeral as a tribute to the rock singer.

Sadly, Bennington died on the day that would have been Cornell’s 53rd birthday. And, the connection doesn’t end there. TMZ reports Bennington appears to have hung himself in almost the same way his friend did.

Cornell’s widow, Vicky, shared her sadness on social media, as well.


About the Author
Marie Rossiter
Marie is a freelance writer and content creator with more than 20 years of experience in journalism. She lives in southwest Ohio with her husband and is almost a full-fledged empty nest mom of two daughters. She loves music, reading, word games, and Walt Disney World. Visit Scripps News to see more of Marie's work.

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