Later in the day, on Instagram rapper/keyboardist Mike Shinoda posted what may be the earliest photo of the bandmembers together, shortly after they’d asked Bennington to join.
1997 or 1998…I think this was the first photo we ever took together. We had just told Chester that we wanted him to join the band. He said he was ready to move out from Arizona to L.A. We went to a pizza place near UCLA to hang out and talk about what to do next. The band was called Xero at the time, and we probably had less than a half a dozen songs. No flame tattoos yet, no red hair yet, most of us were still in college.
Over the weekend, the group set up a special website where fans can post their own tributes.
On Friday, the band canceled all dates on its North American tour, which was scheduled to run from Thursday through Oct. 22, including two “Blinkin Park” co-headlining dates with Blink-182 at New York’s Citi Field and Hersheypark in Pennsylvania. Blink cancelled its appearances not long after Linkin Park’s announcement, writing in social media posts: “Blink-182 is wrecked by the loss of our friend and amazing musician Chester Bennington. We could never imagine playing blinkin park without his incredible talent and voice. It just would not be possible. We send our deepest sympathies to his family, bandmates, friends and fans. Refunds will be available at the place of purchase.”
On Friday afternoon, the Los Angeles County coroner confirmed additional details about Bennington’s death. The 41-year-old singer’s body was found on Thursday at his home in a suburb of Los Angeles. A bottle of alcohol was also found in the room, though it was not near his body, Ed Winter, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner, told Variety. Investigators did not find a note in the room. An autopsy is pending.
Bennington had struggled with depression and substance abuse throughout his life. He also appeared to be deeply impacted by the loss of Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell, who died in May and was good friends with Bennington. The Linkin Park frontman died on what would have been Cornell’s 53rd birthday.