Friday, July 21, 2017

R.I.P.: Linkin Park Frontman Chester Bennington

Chester Bennington, the lead singer of Linkin Park, was found dead on Thursday of apparent suicide a week before the California alt-rock band was due to embark on a U.S. tour.

Bennington, 41, known for his powerful, belting vocals, died at his Palos Verdes home near Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Coroner's office said.

According to Reuters, spokesman Brian Elias said the death was being handled as an apparent suicide, and celebrity website TMZ, citing law enforcement sources, said Bennington had hung himself while alone at the house when his family was out of town.

"Shocked and heartbroken, but it's true. An official statement will come out as soon as we have one," tweeted Linkin Park vocalist Mike Shinoda.

Bennington had a history of alcohol and drug abuse. He spoke openly in the past about his struggles to overcome his demons when Linkin Park first found fame in 2000 with their best-selling debut album "Hybrid Theory" and went on to become one of the most popular alt-rock bands of their generation.

The band's latest album, "One More Light," was released in May, and Linkin Park had been touring South America and Europe until two weeks ago.

Bennington's death came a week before the band was due to kick off the U.S. leg of the tour on July 27 in Mansfield, Massachusetts. It also came the same day as the release of Linkin Park's music video "Talking to Myself."

Bennington, who was twice married and had six children, was a close friend of Soundgarden front man Chris Cornell, who committed suicide in Detroit in May.

Fans noted on Thursday that Bennington had apparently taken his own life on what would have been Cornell's 53rd birthday.

The band has sold more than 70 million albums worldwide.

A statement from Kevin Weatherly, CBS RADIO SVP of Programming and KROQ Program Director, on the passing of Chester Bennington:

“On behalf of everyone at KROQ, I would like to extend our deepest condolences and prayers to Chester Bennington’s family, friends and Linkin Park bandmates. KROQ, Chester and Linkin Park have been together since day 1, and our long history extends beyond the music. Chester and Linkin Park headlined many of our shows over the years, entertaining audiences and pushing the boundaries of music along the way. We are without words to describe how terribly saddened we are today. RIP friend, KROQ will miss you.”

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