In the morning of July 20, 2017, what would be Chris Cornell's 53rd birthday, Linkin Park presented to the world the music video of their newest single "Talking To Myself" and they had plans to do a photoshoot later in the day. However, right after the video release, TMZ broke the news that Chester Bennington had been found dead in his Palos Verdes Estates home.
Fans hoped this was nothing but another hoax, but after many hours waiting from a word from the band's management, Mike Shinoda confirmed the devastating news on Twitter.
Fellow musicians soon started sharing memories and messages of support for Chester's family and friends and we've decided to make a compilation of those in this memorial page, both to show support for those he left behind and to show how big his impact in this world was.
Talinda Bennington, Chester's widow, on Rolling Stone:
One week ago, I lost my soulmate and my children lost their hero their Daddy. We had a fairytale life and now it has turned into some sick Shakespearean tragedy.
How do I move on? How do I pick up my shattered soul? The only answer I know is to raise our babies with every ounce of love I have left. I want to let my community and the fans worldwide know that we feel your love. We feel your loss as well. My babies are so young to have lost their daddy. And I know that all of you will help keep his memory alive.
He was a bright, loving soul with an angel's voice. And now he is pain-free singing his songs in all of our hearts. May God bless us all and help us turn to one another when we are in pain. Chester would've wanted us to do so. Rest In Peace, my love.
Lorenzo Errico, Linkin Park's digital marketing manager.
Jim Digby, Linkin Park's production manager.
Warren Willis, Joe Hahn's tech.
Christian Tachiera, responsible for managing Linkin Park's online platforms and social media calendar.
Frank Maddocks, VP creative services at Warner Bros. Records, who created art for inumerous Linkin Park releases.
Ken "Pooch" Van Druten, Linkin Park's former FOH engineer.
Cameron Strang on behalf of Warner Bros. Records.
Sean Dowdell on behalf of Grey Daze.
Chester was friends with Sean since 1992, when he joined his first band, Sean Dowdell And His Friends? After that, the two of them played together on Grey Daze and founded Club Tattoo. The two also played together in the short-lived supergroup Bucket Of Weenies from 2005 to 2006.
Members and former members of Julien-K.
Chester had a long history with the band; besides doing occasional guest appearances on their shows, he served as executive producer for their debut album, Death To Analog, and they served as backing band for Chester's solo project, Dead By Sunrise.
Julien-K were on Linkin Park's Projekt Revolution Tour in 2007 and were originally an opening act on Linkin Park's European Tour in 2008, but had to cancel the latter.
Chester is on Julien-K's music video for "
Julien-K's vocalist, Ryan Shuck, also played guitar for Bucket Of Weenies.
Read Frank Zummo's lengthy interview with Alternative Press here.
Stone Temple Pilots, one of the bands who inspired Chester as a kid. He was their frontman from 2013 to 2015.
Chester first met the band when Linkin Park toured with them in 2001. He performed "
It was their late vocalist, Scott Weiland, who introduced Chester to Camp Freddy.
With Chester as a member of Stone Temple Pilots, they released an EP called High Rise in 2013.
Watch their interview with Yahoo! Music here.
Matt Sorum on behalf of Kings Of Chaos, a band Chester had been a part of for a year.
Matt was also a member of the now-defunct Camp Freddy, of whom Chester was a recurring guest from 2006 to 2012.
Chris Cornell's widow, Vicky Cornell.
Chester was good friends with Chris Cornell and godfather to Chris' and Vicky's second child, Christopher-Nicolas Cornell.
A childhood friend of Chester's.
ABC15 did an interview with one of Chester's highschool teachers and another classmate which can be watched here.
Kerry Rose, who was manager for Grey Daze.
Sean Spurr, who was in a band called Genocide with Jason Cekoric and Chris Goad before they left to form Sean Dowdell And His Friends? with Sean and Chester.
Members of Size 5, the band that helped Chester with his Xero audition tape.
Chales Kirk Harper, who sang for a band called Oil and shared the stage with Grey Daze many times.
Ryu of Styles Of Beyond, a group who started their music career along with Linkin Park.
Linkin Park took them on tour in 2001, when emcees Ryu and Tak performed "Points Of Authority" with the band, and 2007.
Ryu have recorded verses for two Linkin Park remixes: one for Reanimation which remains unreleased and another for the
System Of A Down, the first band to ever share the stage with Linkin Park (as Xero).
Their guitarist, Daron Malakian helped writing and recording "
Scott Koziol, who played bass for Linkin Park from 1999 to 2000 and can be seen in the "
Rob McDermott, Linkin Park's first manager.
I've maybe had four or five times in the studio that I got goose bumps, literally like shivers, and one of them was with Chester, for sure. And oddly enough, one of them is Chris Cornell, when I recorded Chris on the Temple of the Dog record.
Ian Hornbeck, who recorded bass for a few songs on Hybrid Theory.
Kevin Weatherly on behalf of KROQ.
James MeekMahan of Kerrang!:
P.O.D., who took Linkin Park in one of their first tours in 2000. Linkin Park returned the favor in 2004 by taking P.O.D. out on tour. Their vocalist, Sonny Sandoval, joined the band on stage numerous times to perform "One Step Closer."
Taproot, who toured with Linkin Park during their Street Soldiers Tour, Deftones' Back To School Tour, and Ozzfest in 2001. Frontman Stephen Richards performed "A Place For My Head" with the band at various shows and recorded vocals for "
Members of Static Summer.
Their vocalist, Rene Mata had known Chester for over 15 years. The two made plans to record their respective bands' albums in the same studio in 2002. Mike Shinoda and Joe Hahn would reportedly work on his band's album, but for some reason the collaboration didn't happen.
Uncle Kracker, who shared the stage with Linkin Park in 2001 as a member of Kid Rock's band and recorded a song with Joe Hahn called "
Disturbed, who toured with Linkin Park in 2001 and performed "Walk" with Chester.
Slipknot, who toured with Linkin Park during Ozzfest in 2001. Their singer, Corey Taylor, talked to 93.3 WMMR about Chester's passing.
Percussionist Shawn Crahan also spoke to NME about mental health.
My friends are dying, and I cant take that any more. Personally, I just want to say that Im so saddened by the pain, the loneliness and the isolation. Im not sure what happened, Im not in peoples minds, but its a frightening thought to know that someone has something else on their mind that you dont know. I just want to say how sorry I am and how much love I have for the families of whats been going on recently.
To the general public, just remember the people around you. You might not know what theyre thinking so its always nice to be checked in on, and to check in on people.
Nonpoint, whose "
They toured with Linkin Park during Ozzfest 2001.
Otep Shamaya, whose band was part of the Ozzfest 2001 tour along with Linkin Park:
Shifty Shellshock of Crazy Town, who toured with Linkin Park during Ozzfest 2001.
Members of Dilated Peoples, who toured with Linkin Park in 2001 and collaborated with the band on Reanimation, paid their respects through Twitter. Members of the group would show up while Linkin Park played "
Mark Chavez of Adema, who toured with Linkin Park during their European Tour in 2001, their Projekt Revolution Tour in 2002, and their European Tour in 2003. He would occasionally perform "One Step Closer" with the band, and Chester did a cameo on Adema's "
Declan O'Shea paid his respects in the name of his current band, Mako DC.
Declan was the lead singer of Cyclefly, a band Chester watched playing at the Whisky A Go Go in the summer of 1999 and became a fan. He recorded vocals for their song "
Members of X-Ecutioners, who performed "One Step Closer" with Linkin Park at the
Mike Shinoda and Joe Hahn recorded the hit "
Z-Trip, who played a few dates on Linkin Park's Countdown To Revolution Tour in 2001. In 2002, he was in the line-up of Linkin Park's Projekt Revolution Tour and performed "It's Goin' Down" with the band. He later recorded the hit "
DJ Premier, who made a special appearance during Linkin Park's Projekt Revolution Tour in 2002.
B-Real of Cypress Hill, who Linkin Park took out on tour in 2002. B-Real would come out to perform "One Step Closer" with the band.
He is also a member of Prophets Of Rage, who shared the stage with Linkin Park at various festivals in 2017.
Orgy. Chester met Amir Derakh and Ryan Shuck of Julien-K when they were still members of Orgy. At the time, Linkin Park was working on Meteora at the same studio Orgy was working on Punk Statik Paranoia and they hit it off right away. Jay Gordon, their vocalist, worked on "
Blindside, who took part on Linkin Park's LP Underground Tour and Projekt Revolution Tour in 2003.
Their vocalist, Christian Lindskog, joined Linkin Park on stage numerous times to perform both "P5hng Me A*wy" and "One Step Closer." Watch the video they posted here.
Xzibit, who was part of the Projekt Revolution Tour in 2003 and performed "Nobody's Listening" with Linkin Park.
The JT Experience, a friend of the band who performed a surprise acoustic set before Linkin Park got on stage at a Projekt Revolution Tour show in Kansas. Chester ran out trying to shield him when people started throwing objects.
Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit, who shared the stage with Linkin Park at many festivals and invaded the stage during Linkin Park's set at Rock im Park in 2001. Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park also toured together during Metallica's Summer Sanitarium Tour in 2003. Read his full interview with Variety here:
I can say so many wonderful things about the Chester I knew. He had a way of making anyone he spoke to feel heard, understood and significant. His aura and spirit were contagious and empowering. Often those types of people have so much pain and torture inside that the last thing they want is to contaminate or break the spirit of others.
He would go out of his way to make sure you knew he truly cares. As real and transparent as our conversations would be, he was always the one projecting light on the shadows. In my last conversation with him, he was holding his two cute puppies and giving me the most selfless and motivational compliments in regards to Limp Bizkit and myself and thanking me for paving the path for bands like Linkin Park.
In return, I told him if it werent for him and his voice and his words, this genre would never have reached the masses and affected so many lives. I thanked him for being so courageous and humble and for always being such a gentleman. We laughed and hugged and told jokes as if there would always be a tomorrow for us to meet again.
Jimmy Kimmel, who received Linkin Park many times on his TV show since 2003.
Members of Pia, who were the opening act during Linkin Park's Asian Tour in 2003 and 2004. They were also invited for the band's North American Tour but couldn't make it due to visa problems regarding the military service of some of the members. Their frontman, Yohan Ok, performed "
Ice-T of Body Count, who performed "One Step Closer" with Linkin Park at the Smoke Out Festival in 2003.
Hoobastank, a band whose members went to school with members of Linkin Park.
They joined Linkin Park on tour in 2004 and their vocalist, Douglas Robb occasionally performed "One Step Closer" with the band.
Chester appears in one of the music videos for "
Story Of The Year, who toured with Linkin Park in 2004 and had a
Their frontman, Dan Marsala, would occasionally join Linkin Park on stage to perform "One Step Closer."
Greek Fire, a band formed by members of Story Of The Year and Maybe Today:
Ben Cook of No Warning, a band formerly signed to Machine Shop Recordings that took part in Linkin Park's Projekt Revolution Tour in 2004.
Benjamin Holsteen, who sang for The Rosewood Fall, a band formerly signed to Machine Shop Recordings.
Skylar Grey, an artist formerly signed to Machine Shop Recordings under the name Holly Brook. She recorded and toured with Fort Minor.
Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe.
Chester performed and recorded a version of "
Lupe Fiasco, who has worked on various projects with Mike Shinoda over the years, including
Dave Navarro, guitarist for Jane's Addiction, one of Chester's inspirations, and Camp Freddy. After Camp Freddy broke up, he founded Royal Machines, with whom Chester performed a few times. He also shared the stage with Chester on The Hellcat Saints. Listen to his podcast with Donovan Leitch (another member of Camp Freddy and Royal Machines) where they talk about Chester at the very beginning and at 7 minutes in here.
Slash, who was also a recurring guest on Camp Freddy's concerts and shared the stage with Chester many times.
Duff McKagan, who shared the stage with Chester as a guest of Camp Freddy.
Young Buck, who recorded a song called "
Members of Mindless Self Indulgence, who were part of Linkin Park's Projekt Revolution Tour in 2007. Chester worked on a
Matthew Leone of Madina Lake, who was part of Linkin Park's Projekt Revolution Tour in 2007.
Taking Back Sunday, another band from Projekt Revolution Tour 2007.
Placebo, who joined Linkin Park in their Projekt Revolution Tour in 2007.
My Chemical Romance, who joined Linkin Park in their Projekt Revolution Tour in 2007.
Vocalist Gerard Way told Nerdist:
The first time [Lee and I] sat down, I was actually talking about a Batman story, and he started sketching Batman and were backstage at Projekt Revolution, which was headlined by Linkin Park. I was devastated to hear about Chester. He was actually at my wedding. Not a lot of people were there because we got married super quickly at the end of the tour when half the people had gone home. So there were literally only 30 or 40 people there, and he was one of them.
His band and bringing us on tour, that changed my life. I met my wife. We have an amazing life now and a daughter. My memories of that period and meeting Linds again are tied into Chester and his band. Its so sad. I think a lot about mental health and its something Ive always wanted to address in Doom Patrol, so I definitely think well see a lot more of that now. Ive been through depression, dark times, and therapy. I can really apply that stuff to these characters.
Atreyu, who took part in Linkin Park's Projekt Revolution Tour in 2008.
Street Dum Corps, who toured with Linkin Park during the Projekt Revolution Tour in 2008 and joined the band on stage to perform various songs.
PETA. Chester took part in their "Ink, Not Mink" campaign in 2009.
The Glitch Mob, who created a
Sandra Nasic of Guano Apes, who took part on Linkin Park's Projekt Revolution: Europe in 2011, wrote on Spiegel Online.
I've only met Bennington once backstage at a festival that we both played. He was very polite, careful and tried not to draw attention to him. He seemed thoughful, smart and aware of his surroundings. A very sympathic and sensitive collegue.
I like the music of his band Linkin Park, it was surely one of the most important US bands of the 90s, that saved the crossover until today. I was not a fan, but I liked Benningtons screamy choruses, that's what these songs lived off.
Open Labs, with whom Linkin Park collaborated in the creation of Stagelight in 2012.
Alex Castino of Jkrstyle Productions.
Filter, who were an opening act for Stone Temple Pilots in their Fall U.S. Tour in 2013. Their vocalist, Richard Patrick, would come out to perform "
Beta State, with whom Linkin Park worked in a song called "Change."
Bring Me The Horizon, whose vocalist, Oliver Sykes, is a big fan of Linkin Park and did a photoshoot with Chester in 2014 for Kerrang! magazine.
blink-182, whose members had performed "
Tom Morello, who plays guitar on "
Neil Westfall of A Day To Remember. Their vocalist, Jeremy McKinnon, performed "
Machine Gun Kelly, who was a supporting act on Linkin Park's One More Light Tour and performed "Bleed It Out" a couple of times with the band.
Issues, whose vocalists Tyler Carter and Michael Bohn did guest vocals on "
Mike Baczor (aka Her0, formerly known as D-Nax), a friend of the band with whom Mike and Chester supposedly worked on a song for his debut album.
AFI, who took part on the Carnivores Tour in 2014.
Members of Of Mice & Men, who toured on Linkin Park's The Hunting Party Tour. Aaron Pauley and Austin Carlile joined the band on stage to perform "
Marc Nelson of Dreamers, a band who toured with Stone Temple Pilots in 2015, told Billboard:
I am in total shock. Chester Bennington may have very well changed the course of my career, and more importantly my outlook on staying humble and generous.
I met Chester during DREAMERS' first big tour. He was singing for Stone Temple Pilots at that time and we were opening for them. Chester and STP took us under their wing and that is NOT the norm. We were just starting out, really roughing it, sleeping in the van (which had to be replaced with a Volvo pulling a trailer when the van broke down), generally not living like "rock stars." Chester noticed this and did an incredible thing: He bought us hotel rooms out of pocket for the entire monthlong leg of that tour. This was the second day we joined up with them. He barely knew us. He (and the STP guys) continued to extend that kind of generosity throughout the tour. They'd invite us into their green rooms to meet their friends and family. It was a wonderful experience. They were showing us "the way."
I had Chester's number and would text from time to time. I was always careful not to bother him; when you are famous, people often want things for the wrong reasons, but he always responded. He struck me as one of the most kind, humble, hard-working persons I've met doing this. Chester was not weak. He had a broken ankle on that tour. He would limp backstage. Onstage, he dominated every night. Running around, you'd never know he was in pain.
And that's the thing: Clearly, Chester was in pain. This shit can tear anyone down. Depression is a deadly illness. It's something I've struggled at times with, the weight of that darkness. It's not romantic, it's ugly and suffocating. I'm so sorry for his family, his friends. The people that love him. I felt the need to relay this story to honor him and them. I'll always be grateful to him for showing us such kindness and humility. I'll always try to pay it forward.
Thank you Chester
Zayed Hassan, the grand prize winner of the Stagelight Monthly Music Contest with whom Linkin Park worked in a song called "Sailing Through The Clouds."
Bush played a concert at The Pavilion at Wolf Lake Park in Hammond, IN at the night of Chester's suicide and Gavin Rossdale spoke about the last time he saw him.
Whats so fucked up is the last time I saw him was at Chris Cornells funeral, he sang there, so I dont know whats going on. Its a bad scene, just thinking of his family.
Its so very sad. Its impossible to know anything about their situation. Its impossible, its between him and himself. I feel bad for all of his children, the people who loved him, his wife. So look after each other, be good to yourselves, and look after each other.
Simple Plan, who shared the stage with Linkin Park at a few festivals in 2015 and 2017.
Pusha T, who worked with Linkin Park on
Dave Kushner (ex-Velvet Revolver), who is the founder and only permanent member of The Hellcat Saints, a band Chester fronted for three shows in 2016.
Rhonda's Kiss, a cancer foundation for which Chester played a benefit concert with The Hellcat Saints.
The Chainsmokers, who were invited to work with Linkin Park during the One More Light sessions.
Stormzy, who guests on Linkin Park's "
Conner Youngblood, who played at Relief Live! in 2015 and worked with Linkin Park during the One More Light sessions.
Jon Green, who helped writing "
Blackbear, who helped writing "
Corin Roddick of Purity Ring, who, according to Mike Shinoda, worked with Linkin Park during the One More Light sessions.
Julia Michaels, who helped writing "
Awkwafina, who performed "In The End" with Chester at Comedy Central's The Comedy Jam.
Rafael Perez (aka Rafatoon), who directed the lyric videos for "
Waxx, who filmed a
David Brown (aka Boyinaband), who
Mark Morton of Lamb Of God, with whom Chester had recorded a song earlier in the year. He talked about the experience on Ryan J. Downey's Speak N' Destroy podcast:
I didn't know Chester very well but I have worked with him and I did know him a little bit through that. And I had the opportunity to work on some music with him, you know. And, in that experience, it was interesting because we didn't really know each other really well, we had mutual respect. And to have the opportunity to work a creative project with him, it takes a certain amount of like trust. You have to sort of have with somebody to actually get creative and to really, if you're really doing it and you're really putting yourself into it, you gotta trust. That that other person's not gonna turn on you and that they're not gonna, you know what I mean, you have to feel safe, I guess. And I found for me it was very easy to feel that way with him and to really just give in to the process of trying to make something cool happen creatively, because he was just so open and so honest and so clearly clearly excited about music. And just a really good dude, man. Just an easy person to be around... And I feel really fortunate to have had the chance to spend some time with him, and to talk about music and to talk about parenthood, to talk about, you know, so many other things that surround the music industry. And it was a real special moment for me. I'm glad I got to have it.
Pavel Suslov, who directed the lyric video for "Talking To Myself".
The first song, which was uploaded to the brand-new Nokia 5510 in the distant 2002 - Linkin Park - In the End, weighing 500kb, ripped from the disc, which he took from a classmate to drive on the evening.
Then there was just a space album, Meteora, which was also the only music in "its radio station" in GTA3.
Then there were expectations of new albums, concerts, clips.
And now, after some 15 years, I could not even think that I would work closely with this group. Did a lot of content for them, and even made their new music video, which was due out in a couple of weeks ...
It's terribly painful to see how your childhood idol leaves .. No one believed until the last, but unfortunately, it's true.
Rest in peace, Chester!
Watsky, with whom Mike and Chester had just been in the studio.
Sylvia Massy, who had been working with Grey Daze on a remaster of ...No Sun Today.
Katastro, who were going to open Grey Daze's reunion show.