Chester Bennington, the lead singer of US rap-rock band Linkin Park, has reportedly committed suicide.
Entertainment news outlet TMZ first reported that Bennington, 41, hanged himself at a residence in Los Angeles. Law enforcement sources told TMZ that the singer’s body was found on the morning of July 20.
Bennington, the father of six children, was married twice – first to Samantha Marie Olit in 1996, and then to Talinda Ann Bentley in 2005.
According to TMZ, the singer had struggled with drug and alcohol addiction for a long time. The report also mentions that Bennington had previously revealed that he had considered killing himself because of the abuse he experienced as a child, involving an older male.
Linkin Park was formed in 1996 with Rob Bourdon, Brad Delson, Mike Shinoda, Dave Farrell, Joe Hahn and Mark Wakefield. Bennington only joined the band in 1999, after Wakefield left in 1998.
Its first album, Hybrid Theory, was released in 2000 and, along with the follow-up album Meteora (2003), is arguably the band’s biggest. The debut included monster tracks like In The End, One Step Closer and Crawling, all of which touch on Bennington’s troubles as a teenager. Meanwhile, Meteora featured radio hits like Somewhere I Belong and Numb.
Other albums were Minutes To Midnight (2007), A Thousand Suns (2010), Living Things (2012), The Hunting Party (2014) and One More Light, released a few months ago.
TMZ also reported that Bennington was close to Chris Cornell, former frontman of Soundgarden and later, Audioslave who had also committed suicide in May this year. July 20, 2017 would have been Cornell’s 53rd birthday.
Bennington wrote this letter to Cornell after his death, and shred it on his Twitter account:
Linkin Park performed in Malaysia twice – in 2003 and 2013. The band’s first concert in Kuala Lumpur pulled a massive 25,000 crowd to Stadium Merdeka. The Star Online reported that year that Linkin Park personally chose KL as its only stop in South-East Asia as a way to thank Malaysian fans for their unending support.