Linkin Park Singer Chester Bennington Found Dead in Apparent Suicide

Chester Bennington
Mairo Cinquetti/REX/Shutterstock

Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington was found dead on Thursday morning, police confirmed to Variety. He was 41.

At about 9 a.m. on Thursday, police responded to a call of a dead body in a Palos Verdes Estates (a suburb south of Los Angeles) home, the location of Bennington’s private residence, law enforcement said in a statement. He appeared to have died by suicide from hanging, TMZ reports.

The case is under investigation by the L.A. County Coroner’s Office. Variety has reached out to his reps for more details. Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda tweeted on Thursday afternoon, “Shocked and heartbroken, but it’s true. An official statement will come out as soon as we have one.”

The band most recently released album “One More Light” earlier this year, as well as a music video for “Talking to Myself” earlier Thursday morning. Bennington has struggled with alcohol and drug problems throughout his life.

Thursday was also the birthday of Chris Cornell, Soundgarden singer and a good friend of Bennington’s who died by suicide in May. Bennington wrote a tribute to Cornell, and sang Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” at Cornell’s funeral in May.

Bennington is survived by his wife and six children.

A native of Phoenix, Arizona, Bennington had a troubled childhood marred by sexual abuse from an older male friend and drug abuse; his parents divorced when he was 11.

He began performing in his teens and in the late 1990s was introduced to several members of the band that would become Linkin Park by Zombie Music Publishing executive Jeff Blue. The union was successful although the group struggled to find a record deal. Blue signed them after he joined Warner Bros. Records as an A&R executive, and they released their debut album, “Hybrid Theory,” in 2000, and the group went on to become one of the most successful rock bands of the decade.

“Hybrid Theory” was certified diamond (10 million copies) by the RIAA, and the ensuing albums “Meteora” (2003) and “Minutes to Midnight” (2007) reached multiplatinum sales as well. In 2004 the group recorded a “mashup EP” called “Collision Course” with rapper Jay Z.

The group’s combination of heavy riffs, Bennington’s alternately melodic and gutteral vocals, and Mike Shinoda’s rapping led them to be lumped in with the “nu-metal” of bands like Limp Bizkit and Papa Roach, but the group railed against the term and branched out musically via solo efforts, remix albums and more experimental work on albums like the Rick Rubin-produced “A Thousand Suns.” The group continued to defy expectations in the coming years, getting arguably heavier than ever with “The Hunting Party” in 2014 and following it with a pop-oriented album, “One More Light,” earlier this year. Fan and media reaction to the group’s most recent change of direction was often hostile.

Over the years Bennington also served as lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots after original vocalist Scott Weiland left for the final time in 2013, and worked with a side project called Dead by Sunrise, which released one album, “Out of Ashes,” in 2009.

During a Linkin Park acoustic performance at Spotify’s New York offices in May, just days before Cornell’s death, Bennington was animated and very funny, at one point responding to a question about how the group’s music has changed over the years by saying, “When people ask me ‘How come you don’t write about teen angst anymore?,’ I say ‘I’m 41 years old!'”

In his tribute letter to Chris Cornell, Bennington wrote in part: “You have inspired me in many ways you could never have known. Your talent was pure and unrivalled. Your voice was joy and pain, anger and forgiveness, love and heartache all wrapped up into one. I suppose that’s what we all are. You helped me understand that.”

 

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 23

Marketplace

    Leave a Reply

    23 Comments

    Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

    Connecting to %s

    1. zac says:

      he deserves a huge monument

    2. zac says:

      does this mean there wont be anymore linken parks album :( :( ;(

    3. Angie says:

      When I found out Thrusday evening, my heart failed me. I cried even though I dnt no him personally, I’ve loved n listened to his music. Doesn’t matter cuz I’m gna honor him and his band the rest of my life, and I’m 53. I will sorely miss him. Love you Chris. You won’t be forgotten by me.

    4. Toby says:

      Unbelievable he die I am bast fan
      I love all song bast singer ohhhh

    5. Michelle says:

      R.I.P you poor sweet soul, sadly we won’t get to hear your singing anymore but we have your albums and songs to replay over and over again. I grew up on Linkin Park, I remembered word for word every song on their first album. As they came out with more albums, I began learning those too. Their songs got me through the hardest times of my life.

      Heart broken to see that he could not get rid of his demons. He’ll be missed dearly, and condolences to his wife and children. They will need all the support they can get during this tough time. Heaven has gained another angel. 😞❤️

    6. Mici says:

      True that, but I can not even imagine how lonely one must feel to say goodbye to family and loved ones and just give up. Actually, it can not be a “just”, when one feels so overpowered by fears and not strong enough to deal with them, even when surrounded with the biggest love in the world, offsprings. And being famous, you prolly have less true friends you can open up to, than when being anonymous. That is what is the saddest for me here. Sad that he couldn’t find support somewhere close. :( Or even more sad if he had it and it still wasn’t enough.

    7. Dee says:

      Suicide is a permanent solution to what makes us sad today. Please seal help! Chester voice was spectacular. Rip

      • marcribaudo says:

        I just can’t get passed having 6 children and leaving them fatherless. My life’s a huge mess and I suffer from severe depression. I’ve thought about killing myself, but the other little voice in my head kept reminding me the pain I’d leave to my loved ones. They’d be left to pick up the pieces I left, and that’s plain selfishness. It’s a permanent solution for a temporary problem most of the time. If your dying from terminal cancer and suffering great pain I could see that. This guy seemed to have it all. He had to know the impact this would have not only to his fans, but his family. Talk to someone your comfortable talking with. Stop the madness.

    8. lulu says:

      Too young and six children left..so sad..

    9. John Shutt says:

      It just goes to show that even the most succesful people have demons they cannot control

    10. dee says:

      I’m very sorry that he felt he had no other way out. I feel even more sorry, though, for the children he left behind who will never have their father again. He may have thought it was better that he not be in their lives but he was wrong.

    11. sam lewis says:

      so sad , never forgotton , he was a brillant musican R.IP Chester everyone will miss him loads xx

    12. annacrome1 says:

      So very sad. my sincere condolences go out to his family and friends. RIP, Chester. You will be sorely missed.

    13. D says:

      WOW really why does it seem that suicide is becoming the new normal in the Hollywood world!!

    14. dan radi says:

      RIP, We will always love you

    15. Linus says:

      Always gonna miss him

    16. lynda coombs says:

      So very sad prayers for his children and wife and all those close to him

    17. annemoss.com says:

      Thank you for reporting this gracefully and not sensationalizing. Number one you did not use the phrase ‘commit’ but instead ‘died of apparent suicide’ which is current since suicide is a health crisis not a crime. You also did not sensationalize the method of death but instead reported it as matter of fact and thoughtfully.

      In Kurt Cobain’s death, many people did seek treatment and help. So if you could add the 741-741 crisis text line, suicide hotline 1-800-273-8255 as well as any other resources in the Los Angeles area. Any education you can add on what to do when someone is in crisis would help. This guide is good for what to look out for and help someone in crisis who is feeling suicidal from American Foundation of Suicide Prevention

      I will be sharing this story as opposed to others because of how well you handled the reporting.

    18. Adam says:

      Very sad.

    19. sari says:

      So sad, so confusing why…rest in peace you troubled soul. Rock on.

    More Music News from Variety

    Loading