It's a sad day for music and rock fans everywhere today, as the news has come that Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington has committed suicide. He was 41 years old.
According to TMZ, law enforcement revealed that the singer hanged himself at a home in Palos Verdes Estates in Los Angeles County, where his body was found this morning. Bennington had struggled with drug and alcohol abuse for years, and even admitted that he'd considered suicide before because of abuse he'd suffered as a child. Bennington's death comes just a couple of months after his friend, Soundgarden and Audioslave lead singer Chris Cornell, also committed suicide by hanging himself. Today would have been Cornell's 53rd birthday.
Chester Bennington became well-known for his work as the lead singer of alternative rock band Linkin Park. The band's debut album, Hybrid Theory, was released in 2000, and went on to become the best-selling debut album of the decade, being certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America just five years after its release. Hybrid Theory also still stands as one of only 90 albums to ever sell at least 10 million copies.
Fans were taken by Linkin Park's sound, which melds rock, hip hop and electronica, and Bennington's intensely emotional vocal style, which was frequently punctuated by the band's rap vocalist, Mike Shinoda. Bennington's work helped Linkin Park sell 70 million albums around the world across seven albums, and receive many awards, including two Grammys for Best Hard Rock Performance in 2002 and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration in 2006. Linkin Park has had several hit singles, including Crawling, Numb, In the End, Breaking the Habit and Somewhere I Belong. The band's most recent album, One More Light, was released in May to mostly mixed and negative reviews, with many citing the band's new pop-heavy sound that led to many accusing them of selling out.
In an effort to flex his creative muscles even more, Chester Bennington worked on a few side projects over the years. He formed the rock band Dead by Sunrise in 2005, with the group producing one album, Out of Ashes in 2009. Bennington frequently played small gigs with his cover band Bucket of Weenies, which performed songs from a variety of musical genres, and in May 2013 he took over as lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots after the band parted ways with Scott Weiland. STP released an EP, High Rise, with Bennington as frontman that same year, but in 2015 he would leave on good terms to continue with his commitments to Linkin Park.
Bennington is survived by his wife, Talinda Ann Bentley, and his six children. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.