Linkin Park singer Bennington dead in apparent suicide

Published July 21, 2017
Chester Bennington, of Linkin Park, performs "Hallelujah" at a funeral for Chris Cornell at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles. —AP/File
Chester Bennington, of Linkin Park, performs "Hallelujah" at a funeral for Chris Cornell at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles. —AP/File

Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington, who overcame a troubled childhood to top the charts with an angry but melodic brand of metal, was found dead Thursday in an apparent suicide. He was 41.

“Shocked and heartbroken, but it's true,” Linkin Park's guitarist and main songwriter Mike Shinoda wrote on Twitter.

The Los Angeles County coroner's office said it received a call just after 9 am (1600 GMT) that Bennington had been found hanging at his home in the luxurious Palos Verdes Estate area.

“It is being handled as a possible suicide,” said Brian Elias, chief of operations at the county coroner's office. Bennington had opened up in recent years about his troubled childhood in Arizona. He said 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 turned his rage into music with a growling voice that owed much to heavy metal. But Linkin Park 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.

Bennington had spoken of being moved by the death in May of his friend Chris Cornell, the singer of leading grunge band Soundgarden.

But there had been a little public sign of Bennington retreating from the world.

Linkin Park was scheduled to start a tour next week which would include a performance at New York's Citi Field baseball stadium with other major acts from the band's generation including Blink-182 and the Wu-Tang Clan.

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