Linkin Park legend Charles Chester Benington, who committed suicide last week, had apparently been suffering from poor health and depression for quite some time.
Benington, best known as the frontman and lead vocalist of the American alt rock/nu Metal band Linkin Park, was found hanging in his home Palos Verdes Estates, California, on July 20. His housekeeper discovered the body.
While it is not clear why he committed suicide, some claim that the poor reception of their latest album “One More Light” might have been one of the contributing factors as Benington had violently lashed out at critics and fan backlash, especially at those who said the album was “weak”.
Bandmate Mike Shinoda had confirmed his death on Twitter, writing, “Shocked and heartbroken, but it’s true.”
On July 21, Brian Elias, the chief of operations for the office of the medical examiner-coroner, confirmed that a half-consumed bottle of alcohol was found at the scene, but no other drugs were present.
Benington died on what would have been Chris Cornell’s 53rd birthday. Cornell, lead vocalist for rock bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, was a close friend of Benington. He too had committed suicide by hanging two months earlier.
Shinoda noted that Benington was very emotional when the band performed “One More Light” in Cornell’s honour, and he could not finish singing the song, be it in the rehearsal or in a live performance setting.
Benington sang Leonard Cohen’s song “Hallelujah” at Cornell’s funeral. He was also the godfather of Cornell’s son Christopher.
Following his death, various celebrities have paid tribute to the late singer, including Jared Leto, Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Seacrest, Nikki Sixx and Corey Taylor.
Linkin Park has been credited with the revitalisation of rock music in the early 2000s and giving it mainstream popularity at a time when pop music had slowly begun to dominate the charts.
The band’s experimental sound and angst-filled lyrics were a part of the childhood of every kid who was born in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The songs are a source of inspiration for many up and coming rock ‘n roll bands, and Benington’s voice had a lot to do with it.
As some critics have said: “Chester had the singing of an angel and the screams of the devil.”
The band announced that they had cancelled the North American leg of their “One More Light Tour” following Benington’s death and that tickets would be refunded.
His family is reportedly trying to figure out a way for fans to pay their respects.
Benington’s funeral will likely be a private service with only close family and friends allowed.
Linkin Park have set up a tribute website for the frontman where fans can post messages, videos and photo.