Chester Bennington of Linkin Park Dead at 41

Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park, has died at age 41.

The news comes just weeks before Linkin Park was set to embark on a tour behind the band’s newest album One More Light. This was a markedly polished affair for the band, with one foot planted firmly in the hip–hop influence that was ever–present in Linkin Park, and one planted in more contemporary pop music. It went to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 charts.

Bennington and company made a name for themselves as perhaps the most effective group to combine authentic hip–hop with the variant of rock that came out of the nu metal movement around the turn of the century.

Bennington’s singing and screaming — alongside Mike Shinoda’s rapping — gave Linkin Park an emo inflection that would help boost its 2000’s Hybrid Theory to the top of the charts with singles like “Crawling” and “In the End.” This album would go on to become the highest selling debut album of the 21st century at 30 million units sold worldwide.

Linkin Park - "New Divide" (Live in Red Square 2011)

The band has collaborated with a slew of prominent musicians and reputable rappers, including Black Thought and Stormzy. Perhaps most notable is their 2004 collaboration with Jay–Z, Collision Course. The album's single — "Numb/Encore" — took home the Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration in 2006.

Bennington was close friends with Chris Cornell — who committed suicide back in May — and sang Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” at Cornell’s funeral. Today would have been Cornell’s 53rd birthday.

Bennington committed suicide by hanging in a private residence. He leaves behind six children from two marriages. At the time of publish, Linkin Park has yet to release a statement on Bennington’s death or its imminent tour.

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