Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington was found dead in his home on Thursday morning, July 20. Brian Elias, chief of operations for the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, confirmed the tragic incident and said it was being investigated as an apparent suicide. The nu-metal band singer was 41.
According to Elias, law enforcement authorities responded to call shortly after 9 am local time and were conducting a death investigation in Palos Verdes Estates in Los Angeles County. More details were not immediately available.
Band co-founder and producer Mike Shinoda said on Twitter he was “shocked and saddened” by the news, adding “an official statement will come out as soon as we have one.”
Shocked and heartbroken, but it's true. An official statement will come out as soon as we have one.
— Mike Shinoda (@mikeshinoda) July 20, 2017
Bennington had opened up in recent years about his rough childhood in Arizona. He suffered years of sexual abuse from a family friend and turned to alcohol and hard drugs after his parents divorced when he was 11. He struggled with addictions to both substances at various times during his life but ultimately turned his rage into music with a growling voice that owed much to heavy metal.
His band, Linkin Park, debuted in 2000 and established itself as one of the biggest and most influential rock bands of the 21st century. It became one of the leading forces in the wave of so-called nu metal which incorporated pop structures and hip-hop, with Shinoda often rapping in between Bennington’s vocals. The band has sold 27.8 million albums in the U.S. alone, according to Billboard.
Bennington tied the knot with Talinda Bentley in 2006, having previously been married to Samantha Olit from 1996 until 2005. He had six children from both of those wives, as well as a previous relationship with Elka Brand. One of the children is adopted.
Bennington died on the birthday of his close friend and former Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell, who also committed suicide by hanging earlier this year. Cornell’s would’ve been 53 on Thursday.
“The Cornell family is overwhelmed by the heartbreaking news about Chester Bennington which tragically comes so soon after their family’s own loss,” a Cornell family spokesperson said. “They open up their loving arms to Chester’s family and share in the sorrow with all those who loved him.”
Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467, and MensLine Australia on 1300 78 99 78.