Thursday, July 20, 2017

7.20.17 Hero of the Day: Chester Bennington

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Name: Chester Bennington
Age: was 41
Occupation: lead singer Linkin Park
Last Seen: Palos Verdes Estates, California
Awarded For: being a huge influence on rock music


Today was another shocking day in the world of rock music.

Chester Bennington, the lead singer of the rock band Linkin Park was found dead in his California home today from suicide by hanging. He was just 41. Bennington left behind his wife, Talinda and six children from Talinda and his first wife, Samantha.

Bennington had been the lead singer of Linkin Park since 1999. A year after joining, the group released their first album, "Hybrid Theory", which was the band's name before switching to Linkin Park. The album was a colossal success, selling over eleven million copies and spawning four hit singles: "Crawling", "Papercut", "In the End" and their breakout hit, "One Step Closer". The band's mix of Chester's smooth vocals, Mike Shinoda's rapping and the blaring guitars of Brad Delson along with Joe Hahn's turntable stylings and we can't forget Dave Farrell on bass helped give that fusion of rap, rock and electronic that gave the band its innovative edge.

In all, the band released seven albums and sold over 70 million albums worldwide. They kept reinventing their sound over the years, though some thought their latest album, "One More Light" was too poppy, alienating many of their long-time fans. However, it still has sold well, debuting at #1 on the Billboard Album Charts.

Linkin Park was also known for their work with charity, helping with those affected by tragedies overseas like the 2009 Haiti earthquake and the Tsunami in Japan in 2011.

But despite all the fame and the help Chester brought to this world, his sad side ate him up. He admitted in an interview that from ages seven to 13, he was continuously sexually molested by an older male and was afraid to tell anybody. At age 11, Chester's parents divorced and he turned to drugs and alcohol, a battle he fought on and off over the years, well into his singing career.

Chester was close to Chris Cornell, the lead singer of Soundgarden, Audioslave and Temple of the Dog. When Cornell committed suicide by hanging earlier this year, he played the song "Hallelujah" at his funeral. Some are now speculating that Chester was very depressed over his sudden passing. Yesterday would have been Cornell's 53rd birthday.

Bennington was also a former lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots. In 2013, he and the rest of the band released an EP, "High Rise" which produced the #1 rock single "Out of Time". He replaced Scott Weiland due to his drug troubles. Weiland passed away in 2015.

Suicide never resolves anything. But in Chester's case, the baggage that he had growing up failed to allow him to move forward. He should have talked to a friend or even sought counseling. He should have thought about what positive he accomplished instead of the personal sadness he faced.

Because otherwise, his music will live on.


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