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Passings: Chester Bennington of Linkin Park (1976 - 2017)

by VVN Music

Chester Bennington, the lead singer of the band Linkin Park, has apparently committed suicide by hanging at his home in Palos Verdes Estates, CA.

Bennington's body was discovered just before 9 AM Thursday (July 20) morning.

Ironically, there may be a connection to the hanging death of Chris Cornell in May. The two were close friends, having worked together in the past, Bennington sang Hallelujah at Cornell's funeral and today would have been Cornell's 53rd birthday.

Cornell's wife, Vicky, said on social media "Just when I thought my heart couldn't break any more ... I love you T."

Bennington was born on March 20, 1976 in Phoenix, AZ and took an early interest in music. His parents divorced when he was 11 and he went to live with his father but his teen years were filled with alcohol and drugs, possibly fueled by sexual abuse he said he suffered from the age of 7 to 13.

Chester first began singing with Sean Dowdell and Friends, recording an album in 1993.  He later was a member of Grey Daze which recorded three albums from 1993 to 1997.

He left Grey Daze in 1998 and, a year later, auditioned for the lead singer spot in the band Xero which soon changed its name to Hybrid Theory and, after they released their first EP, to Linkin Park. They signed with Warner Brothers in 1999 and released their full-length debut, Hybrid Theory, in 2000 to amazing sales that eventually reached 11 million in the U.S.

Amazingly, the album peaked at number 2 even though it was their best selling album. Over their career, five of their next six studio albums all hit number 1 with only 2014's The Hunting Party missing, going to number 3.

Among Bennington's other projects were Dead by Sunrise with Orgy and Julien-K of Amir Derakh and as the replacement for Scott Weiland in Stone Temple Pilots from 2013 to 2015.

Chester Bennington had six children with Elka Brand and two wives, Samantha Olit and Talinda Bentley.

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