Today, July 20, marks the fifth anniversary of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington‘s death.
Born March 20, 1976, Bennington began his musical career with local bands in his hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, including the group Grey Daze. He then got an invite to audition for a then-unsigned Linkin Park and joined the band as the lead vocalist.
Linkin Park released their debut album, Hybrid Theory, in October 2000. An immediate success, the record made LP the face of the 2000s nu metal scene with its combination of rock and hip-hop and lyrics dealing with depression, self-loathing, drug use and family issues. Hybrid Theory is now certified Diamond by the RIAA.
Linkin Park continued down the nu metal road with 2003’s Meteora. The next year, they teamed up with rap superstar Jay-Z for the collaborative Collision Course EP, featuring the mash-up “Numb/Encore.”
By 2007’s Minutes to Midnight, LP started to move away from nu metal into a more anthemic, alternative sound. Further releases saw the group continue to explore different genres, bringing in elements of electronic and pop.
In between his work with Linkin Park, Bennington formed the band Dead By Sunrise and briefly fronted Stone Temple Pilots. During his life, he formed a friendship with Soundgarden‘s Chris Cornell.
On May 18, 2017, the day before Linkin Park’s album One More Light was set to drop, Cornell died by suicide. Two months later, on what would’ve been Cornell’s 53rd birthday, Bennington was found dead, also by suicide.
The remaining Linkin Park members held a tribute concert to Bennington in October 2017, but have not performed together since. In April, LP’s Mike Shinoda said the group doesn’t currently have any new music or touring plans.
If you are in crisis or know someone in crisis, contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988, by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or by visiting 988lifeline.org. You can also contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.
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