In absolutely shocking and tragic news, TMZ is reporting that Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington has died by suicide. According to their law enforcement sources, the 41-year old singer was found dead just before 9 a.m., having hanged himself in his home in Palos Verdes Estates. Bennington was married and the father of six children.
It is known that Bennington had struggled with drugs and alcohol, and admitted to suicidal thoughts in the past stemming from childhood trauma. He was also very good friends with Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and Audioslave, who died by suicide this past spring; today would have been Cornell's 53rd birthday. Bennington posted an open letter to his friend shortly after Cornell's death:
Linkin Park has had a string of hits including Faint, In the End, and Crawling. Their album Meteora is one of the biggest alternative music albums in history. They made their name in 2000 with their debut album, Hybrid Theory. In 2013, Bennington was tapped by Stone Temple Pilots to replace Scott Weiland, who died of an overdose in 2015. He also began a side project in 2005 called Dead By Sunrise, their biggest hit being the track Crawl Back In.
Bennington was a talented singer and songwriter who performed with an amazing passion regardless of the venue. I was lucky enough to see him perform at a Blizzcon a few years ago, and you could see the intensity that he brought to every song. He was gifted soul. Rest in peace.
If you or someone you know are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please contact The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.