Chester Bennington (Linkin Park, Stone Temple Pilots)

Best known as the frontman for the rock band Linkin Park. The American musician, singer, songwriter and actor Chester Bennington tragically committed suicide on the July 20, 2017 at his home in Los Angeles, California. Born March 20, 1976 He was also a member of the groups Dead by Sunrise, Bucket of Weenies, Sean Dowdell And His Friends? and Grey Daze. He first began singing with a band called Sean Dowdell and His Friends?. They released an eponymous three-track cassette in 1993. Later, Sean Dowdell and Bennington moved on to form a new band, Grey Daze, a post-grunge band from Phoenix, Arizona. The band recorded three albums; Demo in 1993, Wake/ Me in 1994, and …no sun today in 1997.

Bennington left Grey Daze in 1998, and struggled to find another band becoming increasingly disenchanted until he was almost ready to quit his musical career altogether. However 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. 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.

In 2000, Linkin Park released their debut album, Hybrid Theory. Bennington and Shinoda wrote the lyrics to Hybrid Theory based on some early material. Hybrid Theory, became a massive commercial success and was certified Diamond by the RIAA in 2005, making it the best-selling debut album of the decade. Shinoda characterized the lyrics as interpretations of universal feelings, emotions, and experiences, and as “everyday emotions you talk about and think about. Bennington later described the songwriting experience “It’s easy to fall into that thing – ‘poor, poor me’, that’s where songs like ‘Crawling’ come from: I can’t take myself. But that song is about taking responsibility for your actions. I don’t say ‘you’ at any point. It’s about how I’m the reason that I feel this way. There’s something inside me that pulls me down.” Although Bennington served as Linkin Park’s lead vocalist, he occasionally shared the role with Shinoda. Bennington’s “higher-pitched” and “emotional”, vocals contrasted with Shinoda’s hip-hop-style delivery. Both members also wrote lyrics for the band’s songs. Linkin Park’s following studio albums, Meteora (2003), Minutes to Midnight (2007), A Thousand Suns (2010), Living Things (2012), and The Hunting Party (2014), continued the band’s success. Linkin Park’s sound varied from grunge to psychedelic rock, bossa nova and classic rock. The band’s evolution throughout the 1990s and early 2000s involved several tumultuous periods of commercial highs and lows.

In 2005 Bennington formed his own band, Dead by Sunrise, as a side project. The band’s debut album, Out of Ashes, was released on October 13, 2009. Dead by Sunrise performed four songs (“Walking in Circles”, “Let Down”, “Morning After”, and “My Suffering”) at the 13th anniversary party for Club Tattoo in Tempe, Arizona. The song titled “Morning After” was written by Chester Bennington and originally performed on September 12, 2001 at the Live in Berlin concert. Bennington also performed Morning After with his cover band entitled Bucket of Weenies in many shows throughout 2005 and 2006. This was the first time that Bennington had “officially” performed the song under a new name—Dead by Sunrise. In addition, this band has recently started touring with Linkin Park in Europe. Videos have been filmed for “Crawl Back In” (September 8, 2009) and “Let Down” with the songs serving as the album’s first two singles. “Crawl Back In” has reached the 11th spot on the Mainstream Rock chart. In 2009 Dead by Sunrise released the album Out of Ashes”

Stone Temple Pilots were formed in 1986 originally consisting of Scott Weiland (lead vocals), brothers Dean (guitar) and Robert DeLeo (bass, backing vocals), and Eric Kretz (drums). Stone Temple Pilots debut album, Core (1992), was a commercial success, and they went on to become one of the most commercially successful bands of the 1990s. The band released four more studio albums: Purple (1994), Tiny Music… Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop (1996), No. 4 (1999) and Shangri-La Dee Da (2001), before separating in 2002, after which the band members partook in various projects (most notably Velvet Revolver and Army of Anyone). The band eventually reconvened in 2008 for a reunion tour, released a new self-titled album in 2010.

Weiland was fired in 2013 and was replaced by Chester Bennington who first took the stage at KROQ’s Weenie Roast with the band. The setlist included original Stone Temple Pilots songs, as well as their first single with Bennington on vocals called “Out of Time”. Chester officially became the new frontman of Stone Temple Pilots and discussed the possibility of a new album and tour. In 2013, the band released a free download of their first single, “Out of Time” that features Bennington via their official website. The song “Out of Time” is featured on their EP High Rise. Stone Temple Pilots actively toured until Chester Bennington’s departure in 2015. The band’s only material with Bennington was the EP High Rise in 2013 and In 2015 Weiland was found dead on his tour bus before a performance with his band The Wildabouts. In 2016, the band launched an online audition for a new lead vocalist. Bennington stated that while Stone Temple Pilots has this sexier, more classic rock feel to it. Linkin Park is a very modern, very tech-heavy type of band. In 2015 He left Stone Temple Pilots on good terms due to his commitments with Linkin Park in 2015

Bennington has struggled with ill health In 2001 suffered a severe bite from a recluse spider while touring with the OzzFest and was also plagued with poor health during the making of Meteora, struggling to attend some recording sessions. In 2003, he began to suffer from extreme abdominal pain and gastrointestinal issues while filming the music video for “Numb” in Prague. He was forced to return to the United States for surgery, and filmed the remainder of the music video in Los Angeles. He also broke his wrist in 2007 while attempting to jump off a platform during a show in Melbourne at the Rod Laver Arena. Bennington also injured his shoulder during the band’s tour in Asia and was advised by doctors to have immediate surgery, cancelling their final show at Pensacola Beach, Florida. Bennington also injured his ankle in January 2015 during a basketball game. Despite these setbacks Bennington was ranked No. 46 in the Top 100 Heavy Metal Vocalists by Hit Parader.

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