by Graham Pierrepoint
In shock news to rock and metal fans worldwide, it has been confirmed in the past few days that Chester Bennington – best known as the lead singer of multi-million selling band Linkin Park – has passed away at the age of 41. Bennington, who had been the lead singer of the band since 1998 (two years after their formation), is thought to have taken his own life on Thursday 20th July – just days before the Grammy award-winning group was due to start a new tour.
The band is best known for their trailblazing albums Hybrid Theory – their debut record – and Meteora, arguably one of their biggest mainstream successes in 2003. Bennington’s distinctive, rasping vocals helped to define the band as a frontrunner in mainstream rock and nu-metal in the early 00s, genres which enjoyed colossal public success – and which still court millions of fans to this day. Linkin Park helped to change the game by bringing in elements from other genres while producing material that remained popular with a mainstream audience –collaborating with artists as diverse and Jay-Z and Stormzy throughout the years.
Linkin Park has released their most recent album, One More Light, in May 2017 – and the tour in question that had been due to start later this month was to ignite the US portion of their then-forthcoming world tour.
Chester Bennington is being remembered by the rock world following a tragedy that echoes the passing of Chris Cornell – lead vocalist for Soundgarden – who had also committed suicide earlier this year. Bennington is thought to have been close to Cornell – and thus was of course affected by the star’s passing in May this year. Bennington in fact performed at Cornell’s funeral – confirming how close the two stars were when they were still with us.
Bennington is thought to have fought against substance abuse for some time following traumatic abuse he had suffered as a child – and had been vocal about his struggles with the media up until his death.
The star is survived by a wife and six children – and will be hugely missed by millions – fans and fellow musicians alike, those across the industry and even those operating in different circles. It is not clear which direction Linkin Park will move in following their singer’s passing – though it is clear that the rock world will be in a state of mourning for some time.