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Chester Charles Bennington (March 20, 1976 – July 20, 2017) was an American singer and songwriter best known as the frontman for the rock band Linkin Park. He was also the lead singer for Dead by Sunrise and fronted Stone Temple Pilots from 2013 to 2015.
Bennington first gained prominence as a vocalist following the release of Linkin Park's debut album, Hybrid Theory, in 2000, which became a commercial success. The album was certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America in 2005, making it the best-selling debut album of the decade, as well as one of the few albums to ever hit that many sales. Linkin Park's following studio albums, Meteora (2003), Minutes to Midnight (2007), A Thousand Suns (2010), Living Things (2012), The Hunting Party (2014), and One More Light (2017) continued the band's success.
Bennington formed his own band, Dead by Sunrise, as a side project in 2005. The band's debut album, Out of Ashes, was released on October 13, 2009. He worked on new material with Stone Temple Pilots in 2013 to release the EP High Rise on October 8, 2013 via their own record label, Play Pen. Bennington has been ranked in the Top 100 Heavy Metal Vocalists by Hit Parader (No. 46).
On July 20, 2017, Bennington was found dead in his home in Palos Verdes Estates, California from apparent suicide by hanging.
Chester Charles Bennington was born on March 20, 1976 in Phoenix, Arizona. His mother was a nurse, while his father was a police detective who worked with child sex abuse cases and took double shifts. Bennington took interest in music at a young age, citing bands Depeche Mode and Stone Temple Pilots as his early inspirations, and dreamed of becoming a member of Stone Temple Pilots, which he later achieved.
Bennington's parents divorced when he was 11 years old, and his father gained custody of him. After the divorce, Bennington started abusing marijuana, alcohol, opium, cocaine, methamphetamine, and LSD. He eventually overcame his drug addiction, and would go on to denounce drug use in future interviews. During one Linkin Park tour, he started drinking heavily. In 2011, he claimed to have quit, noting, "I just don't want to be that person anymore."
In an interview, Bennington revealed that he had suffered sexual abuse from an older male friend when he was seven years old. He was afraid to ask for help because he did not want people to think he was gay or lying, and the abuse continued until the age of 13. The abuse and situation at home affected him so much that he felt the urge to kill people and run away. To comfort himself, he drew pictures and wrote poetry and songs. He later revealed the abuser's identity to his father, but chose not to continue the case after he realized the abuser was a victim himself.
At the age of 17, Bennington moved in with his mother, and was banned from leaving the house when his mother discovered his drug activity. He worked at a Burger King before starting his career as a professional musician. He was physically bullied in high school. In an interview, he said, "I was knocked around like a rag doll at school, for being skinny and looking different."
Bennington had a child, Jaime (born May 12, 1996), from his relationship with Elka Brand. In 2006, he also adopted Brand's other son, Isaiah. He married his first wife, Samantha Marie Olit, on October 31, 1996. They had one child together, Draven Sebastian (born April 19, 2002). Bennington's relationship with his first wife declined during his early years with Linkin Park, and they divorced in 2005. In 2006, he married Talinda Ann Bentley, a former Playboy model with whom he had three children: Tyler Lee Bennington (born March 2006) and twins Lilly and Lila (born March 2011).
Bennington and his wife were harassed by a cyberstalker named Devon Townsend for almost a year. Townsend was found guilty of tampering with the couple's email, as well as sending threatening messages, and was later sentenced to two years in prison.
Bennington was a tattoo enthusiast. He had done work and promotions with Club Tattoo, a tattoo parlor in Tempe, Arizona. Club Tattoo is owned by Sean Dowdell, Bennington's friend since high school. They played together in two bands.
Bennington was a fan of the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Cardinals, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Arizona Coyotes.
In a January 2011 interview, in response to the 2011 Tucson shooting, Bennington said, "There's a non-violent way to express yourself and get your point across—regardless of what you're saying or what your point is. In a free society, people have a right to believe whatever they want to believe. That's their business and they can speak their mind... but nobody, even in a free society, has the right to take another person's life. Ever. That's something that we really need to move beyond."
Health and injuries
Bennington was plagued with poor health during the making of Meteora, and struggled to attend some of the album's recording sessions. In the summer of 2003, he began to suffer from extreme abdominal pain and gastrointestinal issues while filming the music video for "Numb" in Prague. He was forced to return to the United States for surgery, and filmed the remainder of the music video in Los Angeles.
Bennington sustained a wrist injury in October 2007 while attempting to jump off a platform during a show in Melbourne at the Rod Laver Arena. Despite the injury, he continued to perform the entire show with a broken wrist, before heading to the emergency room. He received five stitches.
In 2011, Bennington fell ill again, and Linkin Park was forced to cancel three shows and reschedule two from the A Thousand Suns World Tour. Bennington injured his shoulder during the band's tour in Asia and was advised by doctors to have immediate surgery, cancelling their final show at Pensacola Beach, Florida and ending their tour.
Bennington injured his ankle in January 2015 during a basketball game. He attempted to cope with the injury and perform with the aid of crutches and a knee scooter. Linkin Park later canceled the remainder of their tour to allow Bennington to undergo surgery and recover.
Bennington died of an apparent suicide by hanging at his home in Palos Verdes Estates, California; his housekeeper discovered his body around 9:00 a.m. PDT on July 20, 2017. Shinoda confirmed his death on Twitter, writing, "Shocked and heartbroken, but it's true. An official statement will come out as soon as we have one." Bennington's death occurred on what would have been Chris Cornell's 53rd birthday. Cornell, who was a close friend of Bennington, had also died of suicide by hanging two months prior. Mike Shinoda noted that Bennington was very aggrieved when the band performed "One More Light" in his honor, where he could not finish singing the song, be it in rehearsal or live recording. Bennington sang Leonard Cohen's song "Hallelujah" at Cornell's funeral. He was also the godfather of Cornell's son Christopher.
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Centennial High School, Greenway High School, Washington High School (1994)
Full Name at Birth
Chester Charles Bennington
Singer, Songwriter, Musician, Actor
Chester Charles Bennington (March 20, 1976 – July 20, 2017) was an American singer and songwriter best known as the frontman for the rock band Linkin Park. He was the lead singer for Dead by Sunrise and fronted Stone Temple Pilots from 2013 to 2015.
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Alternative Rock, Post-Grunge, Rap Rock, Alternative Metal, Nu Metal
Linkin Park, Dead by Sunrise, Julien-K, Grey Daze, Stone Temple Pilots, Bucket of Weenies
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Hard rock, Alternative Rock, Heavy Metal
Tattoos, Vocal range
Chris Cornell, Jay-Z
Cause of Death
Place of Death
Palos Verdes Estates, California
Music Genre (Text)
Nu Metal, Post-Grunge, Alternative Rock, Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal
Wiki Bio Text
==Chester Charles Bennington== (March 20, 1976 – July 20, 2017) was an American singer, songwriter, musician and actor best known as the frontman for the rock band [[Linkin Park]]. He was the lead singer for [[Dead by Sunrise]] and fronted [[Stone Temple Pilots]] from 2013 to 2015.
===Bennington first gained prominence=== as a vocalist following the release of Linkin Park's debut album, [[Hybrid Theory]], in 2000, which became a commercial success. The album was certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America in 2005, making it the best-selling debut album of the decade, as well as one of the few albums to ever hit that many sales. [[Linkin Park]]'s following studio albums, from [[Meteora]] (2003) to [[One More Light]] (2017), continued the band's success.
===Bennington formed his own band,=== [[Dead by Sunrise]], as a side project in 2005. The band's debut album, [[Out of Ashes]], was released on October 13, 2009. He worked on new material with [[Stone Temple Pilots]] in 2013 to release the EP High Rise on October 8, 2013 via their own record label, [[Play Pen]]. Bennington has been ranked in the Top 100 Heavy Metal Vocalists by Hit Parader (No. 46).
===On July 20, 2017,=== Bennington was found dead in his home in [[Palos Verdes Estates, California]], from suicide by hanging.