An untimely farewell, Chester Bennington

The global industry went into shock and Linkin Park fans went into frenzy including me as Chester Bennington comitted suicide aged 41 on 20th July 2017. The ”Numb” hitmaker was apparently struggling from depression and unfortunately hanged himself on birthday of his close friend Chris Cornell, who too comitted suicide back in May.

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.

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.

Bennington was frustrated and almost ready to quit his musical career altogether when Jeff Blue, the vice president of A&R at Zomba Music in Los Angeles, offered him an audition with the future members of Linkin Park.  Bennington quit his day job at a digital services firm  and took his family to California, where he had a successful audition with Linkin Park, who were then called Xero. He managed to record the song for his audition in a day, missing his own birthday celebration in the process. Bennington and Mike Shinoda, the band’s other vocalist, made significant progress together, but failed to find a record deal.  After facing numerous rejections, Jeff Blue, now a vice president of A&R at Warner Bros., intervened again to help the band sign with Warner Bros. Records.

On October 24, 2000, Linkin Park released their debut album, “Hybrid Theory”, through Warner Bros. Records. Bennington and Shinoda wrote the lyrics to Hybrid Theory based on some early material.  Shinoda characterized the lyrics as interpretations of universal feelings, emotions, and experiences, and as “everyday emotions you talk about and think about.”

His songs that enthralled audiences worldwide were ‘Numb’, ‘In the end’, ‘Heavy’, ‘Castle of glass’ and a lot more. May his soul rest in peace.

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