Linkin Park frontman found dead


Photo by People Magazine

The late Chester Bennington.

Allison Mattingly, Senior Staff

Trapped within the vices of addiction and depression, Chester Bennington, 41, was found dead in his Palos Verdes home early July 20th, only two months after close friend, Chris Cornell of Soundgarden’s, suicide. While Bennington was always open about his struggles with addiction and depression, his death came as a shock to many.

Bennington was well known for being the lead singer and face of alternative rock band, Linkin Park.

The band, formed in 1996 in Agoura Hills, California, has produced 10 EPs, five live albums, 12 video albums and two remix albums with Warner Bros. Records, Warner Brothers Music and Machine Shop Records.

The band’s two most popular albums were “Meteora,” released in 2003, and “Hybrid Theory,” released in 2000. The band was also featured on the 2007 live-action “Transformers” film.

Linkin Park pianist, Mike Shinoda, responded to the news of Bennington’s death, saying he was “shocked and heartbroken but it’s true.”

In a interview, Shinoda discussed the impact of Cornell’s death on Bennington, saying, “We were booked to play the show so that we could promote our new single “Heavy” and then we heard the news about Chris and had had a little powwow in the dressing room before we went on and we said, ya know, we should play ‘Heavy,’ but the right thing to do is play ‘One More Light’ because it’s about the loss of a friend.”

“When we were doing a soundcheck Chester couldn’t even make it through the song, he was getting halfway through and getting choked up. And even when we did play the whole song, and it was live on TV, or taped for film for TV, he kind of just stopped like towards the end like he missed the last couple lines, just couldn’t finish the song,” he continued.

Shinoda was a part of the Projekt Revolution Tour in 2008, with Bennington and the other members of Linkin Park headlining with Cornell as a supporting artist.

Bennington and Cornell being close friends and Bennington’s death falling on the day of the late Cornell’s birthday, speculation has begun to circulate that Bennington may have mimicked Cornell’s suicide.

In an ABC News Radio interview, the front man of alternative band Filter, Richard Patrick, said, “I was absolutely shocked that Chester committed suicide. I was shocked. I mean, the reality is that he seemed to have everything going on. The last time I saw him was at Chris Cornell’s funeral. And he saw me and came running over and we hugged…and we didn’t really have much to say to each other than, like ‘Are you OK?’ ‘Yeah, I’m OK. Are you OK?’ ‘Yeah, I’m OK.’”

It was reported that Bennington sang Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” at Cornell’s funeral on May 26.

Talinda Bennington, Chester’s wife of 11 years prior to his abrupt death, claimed that she had lost her soulmate and their three children had lost their hero.

“We had a fairy tale life and now it has turned into some sick Shakespearean tragedy,” Talinda said. “How do I move on? How do I pick up my shattered soul?”

Bennington’s ex-wife, Samantha Marie Olit, paid tribute to the late singer in a post on Facebook saying, “I pray from my soul that he is at peace and no longer suffering. Chester, as one of my best friends of the age of 19, a husband, a father to my son, business partner, and all we created together, I’m truly honored to have completed our soul contracts together, build all we did together, and thank you for giving me the greatest gift ever, our beautiful son, Draven.”

She went on to write that she and son Draven are “extremely spiritual” and that they “believe that we as souls make ‘soul contracts’ we agree to come into this world with the knowledge of our destiny and when it’s fulfilled we move on to a high vibration of energy, meaning ‘the next level.’”

With responses made from many other celebrities and fans on various social media outlets, the hashtag #RipChesterBennington began to trend worldwide on Twitter and was spotted on many Instagram and Facebook posts.

Bennington’s was laid to rest during a private funeral service attended by the lead singer’s family and close friends on Saturday, July 29 in Palos Verdes, Calif.