Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington has died of a suicide, reportedly by hanging, at the age of 41.
Bennington fronted rockers Linkin Park, alongside rapper Mike Shinoda. Linkin Park rose to stardom during the “nu-metal” era of rock in the early ’00s, combining rock, rap and electronic influences on their massive debut album Hybrid Theory. That album went 11x platinum and paved the way for Linkin Park to become one of the biggest rock bands of the next decade, releasing a number of highly successful albums, including 2003’s Meteora, 2007’s Minutes to Midnight and 2010’s A Thousand Suns. They also teamed up with JAY-Z for 2004’s mash-up album Collision Course. Linkin Park just released their latest album One More Light almost exactly two months ago.
In a brief tweet, Shinoda said, “Shocked and heartbroken, but it’s true. An official statement will come out as soon as we have one.”
Bennington also had a short lived side project, Dead by Sunrise, which released one album. And notably, he fronted Stone Temple Pilots after the band’s relationship with Scott Weiland fell apart once again, touring extensively as their singer and releasing an EP in 2013.
Linkin Park had been set to kick off a world tour in support of One More Light on July 27 in Mansfield, MA.
His passing comes on the birthday of late Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell, who also committed suicide via hanging earlier this year. The musicians were close and Bennington actually sang at Cornell’s funeral.
Bennington was married and has six children. He famously struggled with drug and alcohol problems for years.
Kevin Weatherly, CBS Radio SVP of Programming and KROQ Program Director, said in a statement, “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.”