Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington dies in suspected suicide, aged 41

Chester Bennington, the lead singer of band Linkin Park, has died at 41

21 July 2017, 8:00am
Chester Bennington's death is being treated as an apparent suicide
Chester Bennington's death is being treated as an apparent suicide
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 US tour.

His death at his private residence in Palos Verdes Estates in Los Angeles County at approximately 9am on Thursday morning was confirmed by the coroner.

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," Linkin Park vocalist Mike Shinoda tweeted.

Bennington, who was 41 years old, joined the group in 1999 and became a household name the year after with the release of the band’s debut album Hybrid Theory, which was nominated for a Grammy award for best rock album. Their second album, Meteora, has sold over 27m units and the band collaborated with Jay-Z for 2004 EP Collision Course.

Bennington also fronted the Stone Temple Pilots from 2013 to 2015 and made small appearances in the films Crank and Saw 3D.

Bennington had a history of alcohol and drug abuse and spoke candidly about his struggles in past interviews. “It’s not cool to be an alcoholic — it’s not cool to go drink and be a dumbass” he said to Noisecreep in 2009. “It’s cool to be a part of recovery. This is just who I am, this is what I write about, what I do, and most of my work has been a reflection of what I’ve been going through in one way or another.”

He also shared details of an abusive childhood. In a 2011 interview with the Guardian, he said: “When I was young, getting beaten up and pretty much raped was no fun. No one wants that to happen to you and honestly, I don’t remember when it started ... My God, no wonder I became a drug addict. No wonder I just went completely insane for a little while.”

Bennington's death came a week before the band was due to kick off the US 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 is survived by six children, Jaime, Isaiah, Draven, Tyler Lee and twins Lily and Lila, and his wife Talinda Ann Bentley.