Before Suicide, Linkin Park Singer Open About Struggles

Chester Bennington was found dead Thursday
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2017 3:47 PM CDT
Before Linkin Park Singer's Suicide, Demons
Chester Bennington performs during the MMRBQ Music Festival 2015 at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, N.J.   (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP, File)

Chester Bennington, the 41-year-old lead singer of Linkin Park who was found dead Thursday in an apparent suicide, had a difficult childhood and battled demons throughout his life, Metal Hammer reported in 2014. As a young child, he was physically abused and molested by an older friend. "Like most people, I was too afraid to say anything," Bennington said. "It was a horrible experience." After his parents divorce when he was 11, Bennington turned to drugs and alcohol. “I’ve done everything," he said. "I got really, really bad." The singer would later get sober during his time with Linkin Park. Here's what else you need to know:

  • Rolling Stone reports Linkin Park rode the nu-metal wave to great success with its 2000 album Hybrid Theory, which blended rap, metal, and electronic music and would eventually be certified diamond with more than 10 million copies sold. The band would go on to have multiple number-one albums while collaborating with Jay-Z and others. Bennington had also recently served as the lead singer for Stone Temple Pilots.
  • Here's the music video for Linkin Park's hit "Numb."
  • The band released a new music video for the song "Talking to Myself" just minutes after Bennington's body was found Thursday morning, TMZ reports.
  • In an obituary, the New York Times describes Bennington as a "ferocious" singer "known for his piercing scream and free-flowing anguish." It notes Bennington and Linkin Park were scheduled to play a show Thursday night in Massachusetts.
  • In a tweet, Bennington's Linkin Park bandmate Mike Shinoda said he's "shocked and heartbroken."
  • Vicky Cornell—whose husband, Chris Cornell, was friends with Bennington and killed himself earlier this year—tweeted: "Just when I thought my heart couldn't break any more.....I love you."
  • Entertainment Weekly rounds up other celebrity reactions to Bennington's death. Jimmy Kimmel called the singer "one of the kindest men I've had on my show," and Joss Whedon said Bennington's music "got me through a horribly dark time."
  • Finally, Bennington talked about a close friend's attempted suicide during an interview with Rock Sound in March: "I relate to that. And what’s crazy is that after seeing someone I care about go through that, the fact that I wanted to do that myself freaks me out, because it’s horrible." He later added: "If it wasn’t for music I’d be dead."
(Read more Linkin Park stories.)

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