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Chester Bennington (1976 - 2017)

Getty / Jennifer Lourie

Chester Bennington (1976 - 2017)

Chester Bennington, the lead singer of the rock group Linkin Park, has died. His death Thursday, July 20, 2017, was reported by multiple news sources. He was 41.

The Los Angeles County coroner said Bennington died at his home in Palos Verdes Estates, California. News reports have cited suicide as the cause of death.

Linkin Park was one of the most successful rock groups of the early 2000s. The band’s debut album, “Hybrid Theory” (2000), sold over 11 million copies in the U.S. The follow-up albums, “Meteora” (2003) and “Minutes to Midnight” (2007), also sold multiple millions of copies. Linkin Park continued to tour and released its seventh album, “One More Light,” in May of this year.

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As lead vocalist, Bennington was an integral part of the band’s sound. He often delivered passionately screamed vocals that complemented and contrasted bandmate Mike Shinoda’s hip-hop inspired vocals. The group’s sound has been described as alternative metal or rap rock, incorporating elements of heavy metal, hip-hop, and electronic music.

Bennington also wrote the emotional lyrics of many of the band’s songs like “Crawling,” “Numb,” and “What I’ve Done.”

He formed another band, Dead by Sunrise, to record other songs he had written that he didn’t feel were appropriate for Linkin Park. Dead by Sunrise released an album, “Out of the Ashes,” in 2009.

A longtime fan of the group Stone Temple Pilots, he served as their lead singer from 2013 to 2015 following the dismissal of their original vocalist, Scott Weiland, who died Dec. 3, 2015.

News of Bennington’s death has shocked the music world, which is still reeling from the death by suicide of Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell in May. Bennington spoke at his funeral.

“Shocked and heartbroken, but it’s true,” Linkin Park bandmate and vocalist Mike Shinoda tweeted.

Bennington was born March 20, 1976, in Phoenix. He struggled with abuse during his childhood and teenage years. This lead to a period of heavy drug use as a teenager and young adult. Although addiction issues would crop up again later in life, he turned to music as a path out of the destructive cycle in which he found himself.

He auditioned for the band Xero in the late 1990s. After he joined, the band changed its name to Linkin Park.

Bennington is survived by his wife, Talinda Ann Bentley, and six children from two marriages.

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If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide, he or she should not be left alone. Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. The Lifeline provides free, confidential support for people in crisis or emotional distress, 24/7 year-round. The Lifeline also offers an online chat for people who prefer to reach out online rather than by phone.