Today we celebrate the life of Chester Bennington who would be 43 years old today.
Charles Chester Bennington was born on 20th March 1976 in Phoenix, Arizona (United States).
Chester's mum, Susan Elaine Johnson was a nurse and his father Lee Russell Bennington was a police detective.
It is noted that Chester took an interest in music at a young age, listening to bands such as Depeche Mode and Stone Temple Pilots and stated they was his earliest inspirations. Chester even dreamed of being a member of Stone Temple Pilots which later in his career, finally achieved.
Chester first began singing in a band called Sean Dowdell and His friends:
The group released a three-track cassette in 1993. Later on, Chester and Sean formed a new band called 'Grey Daze', which was a post-grunge band. The group recorded and released three albums:
The bands first release was called 'Demo' in 1993.
Wake/Me was released in 1994
No Sun Today was released in 1997, this would be the final album that Chester would record with Grey Daze as he departed the band in 1998.
After leaving Grey Daze, it is noted that Chester Bennington almost quit the music industry all together as he was un-able to find another band to be apart of. That was until he met Jeff Blue who was the Vice President of A&R at Zomba Music in Los Angeles where he offered Bennington an audition with the future members of what would become world renowned Linkin Park.
Chester then quit his day job at digital services firm and took his family to California, where he had a successful audition with Linkin Park, who at the time where under another name 'Xero'.
(Not to be mistaken with the current band Xero from Newcastle.)
Chester Bennington used all of his musical talent to record an entire song in a day for his audition, in which he missed his own birthday celebration in the process.
Mike Shinoda (left) and Chester Bennington (right) would soon start working together closely and made significant progress within the band and personally. However, despite the progress being made, the band failed to find a record label. Once again, Jeff Blue helped the group sign with Warner Bro's. Records as he was made Vice President of A&R at the company.
On 24th October 2000, the with the group new re-named as Linking Park, they released their debut album 'Hybrid Theory' through Warner Bros. Records.
Chester Bennington told Rolling Stone Magazine in 2002 "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."
After the success of Linkin Park, Chester Bennington went onto co-found a rock band anmed 'Dead By Sunrise' with Orgy and Julien-K members Amir Derakh and Ryan Shuck. The band made its live debut in 2008 performing four songs at the 13th anniversary party for Club Tatto in Tempe, Arizona. The band then went onto release their debut album "Out of Ashes" on 13th October 2009.
In February 2013, it was reported that Stone Temple Pilots had parted with their lead singer Scott Weiland. The band went onto recruit Chester Bennington as a replacement for Weiland in May 2013. Chester had finally fulfilled his life time dream that he had since he was a child, he was officially a member of Stone Temple Pilots. The bands first single with Bennington was released on May 19th and was called 'Out of Time':
Stone Temple Pilots went on to announce Charles Chester Bennington as their official front man in an exclusive interview with KROQ and also discussed the possibility of a brand new album featuring Chester.
Chester reflected his time with Stone Temple Pilots: "Every band has its own kind of vibe. Stone Temple Pilots has this sexier, more classic rock feel to it. Linkin Park is very modern, very tech-heavy type of band. I grew up listening to these guys. When this opportunity came up, it was like a no-brainer"
Bennington later left the band in 2015 on good terms due to his commitments with Linkin Park.
Sadly, this would be the last major milestone in Chester Benningtons career. Until Mark Morton released 'Cross Off' which featured Bennington on vocals. The song was received very well and was Chesters last ever musical release.
It had been known for a very long time that Chester suffered with depression for many years, mainly due to sexual abuse that he experienced at a very young age. In July 2017, it was reported that Bennington had committed suicide at his home in Palos Verdes Estates, California.
His band mate and close friend Mike Shinoda confirmed his death on Twitter, writing: "Shocked and heartbroken, but it's true. An official statement will come out as soon as we have one". Brian Elias reported on 21st July 2017 that a half-full bottle of alcohol was found at the scene, but no other drugs were present.
This is the official statement released by Linkin Park:
"Our hearts are broken. The shockwaves of grief and denial are still sweeping through our family as we come to grips with what has happened. You touched so many lives, maybe even more than you realised. In the past few days, we’ve seen an outpouring of love and support, both public and private, from around the world. Talinda and the family appreciate it, and want the world to know that you were the best husband, son, and father; the family will never be whole without you.
Talking with you about the years ahead together, your excitement was infectious. Your absence leaves a void that can never be filled—a boisterous, funny, ambitious, creative, kind, generous voice in the room is missing. We’re trying to remind ourselves that the demons who took you away from us were always part of the deal. After all, it was the way you sang about those demons that made everyone fall in love with you in the first place. You fearlessly put them on display, and in doing so, brought us together and taught us to be more human. You had the biggest heart, and managed to wear it on your sleeve.
Our love for making and performing music is inextinguishable. While we don’t know what path our future may take, we know that each of our lives was made better by you. Thank you for that gift. We love you, and miss you so much.
Until we see you again,
We are sad to know that we will never have Chester in our lives again, but his music will most certainly live on and will always be in our hearts. ~ RLUK
Charles Chester Bennington 1976 - 2017
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