Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington died of an apparent suicide by hanging this morning. The singer was 41. An official statement will come out as more details are known.
“Chester Bennington was an artist of extraordinary talent and charisma, and a human being with a huge heart and a caring soul,” Warner Brothers Records CEO Cameron Strang said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his beautiful family, his bandmates and his many friends. All of us at WBR join with millions of grieving fans around the world in saying: we love you Chester and you will be forever missed.”
In addition to fronting Linkin Park, Bennington also fronted the Stone Temple Pilots from 2013 to 2015 and made small appearances in the films Crank and Saw 3D. When his close friend and fellow musician Chris Cornell, lead singer of the bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, killed himself this past May, Bennington performed at his funeral. “You have inspired me in many ways you could never have known,” Bennington wrote. “Your talent was pure and unrivaled. Your voice was joy and pain, anger and forgiveness, love and heartache all wrapped up into one. I pray you find peace in the next life. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your life.”
In past interviews, Bennington has spoken candidly about his struggles with drugs and alcohol. “It’s not cool to be an alcoholic — it’s not cool to go drink and be a dumbass” he said to Noiecreep in 2009. “It’s cool to be a part of recovery. This is just who I am, this is what I write about, what I do, and most of my work has been a reflection of what I’ve been going through in one way or another.”
Bennington’s emotional vocals provided a gritty counterpoint to co-frontman Mike Shinoda’s raps on the group’s nu-metal hits like “In the End” and “One Step Closer.” He sang the poppy melodies on the band’s recent hit “Heavy,” which featured singer Kiiara and reached Number Two on Billboard’s Hot Rock Songs chart and Number 11 on the Top 40.
Our prayers go out to Chester’s family, bandmates, and crew – a very dedicated entourage.