Linkin Park singer Ch­ester Ben­ning­ton dies at 41

Muscat Daily - - FEATURES -

Linkin Park singer Ch­ester Ben­ning­ton, who over­came a trou­bled child­hood to top the charts with an an­gry but melodic brand of metal, was found dead Thurs­day in an ap­par­ent sui­cide. He was 41.

“Shocked and heart­bro­ken, but it’s true,” Linkin Park’s gui­tarist and main song­writer Mike Shin­oda wrote on Twit­ter.

The Los An­ge­les County coro­ner’s of­fice said it re­ceived a call just af­ter 9am (1600 GMT) that Ben­ning­ton had been found hang­ing at his home in the lux­u­ri­ous Pa­los Verdes Es­tate area.

“It is be­ing han­dled as a pos­si­ble sui­cide,” said Brian Elias, chief of op­er­a­tions at the coro- ner’s of­fice.

Just hours be­fore his death, Linkin Park had re­leased a video for its lat­est sin­gle, Talk­ing To

My­self, whose lyrics took on a new mean­ing.

The song ap­pears to take the van­tage point of Ben­ning­ton’s wife, Talinda Ann Bent­ley, as she begs him to con­trol his sub­stance abuse.

Ben­ning­ton - who had six chil­dren from two mar­riages - had wres­tled with al­co­hol and drugs since he was a pre-teenager and he coped with his par­ents’ di­vorce.

Born and raised in Ari­zona, Ben­ning­ton said that a fam­ily friend abused him start­ing at the age of seven.

“I was get­ting beaten up and be­ing forced to do things I didn’t want to do. It de­stroyed my self-con­fi­dence,” he told the Bri­tish mu­sic site Team Rock in 2014.

“Like most peo­ple, I was too afraid to say any­thing. I didn’t want peo­ple to think I was gay or that I was ly­ing,” he said.

He turned his rage into mu­sic with a growl­ing metal voice. Linkin Park be­came one of the lead­ing forces in the wave of so­called nu metal which in­cor­po­rated pop struc­tures and hip-hop, with Shin­oda of­ten rap­ping in be­tween Ben­ning­ton’s vo­cals.

Block­buster de­but

Ben­ning­ton’s start with Linkin Park sounded like the lore of an ear­lier era.

Af­ter un­suc­cess­fully try­ing to make his mark mu­si­cally in his na­tive Phoenix, a tal­ent scout heard his voice and ar­ranged an au­di­tion in Los An­ge­les with Linkin Park.

The band quickly found a chem­istry with Ben­ning­ton de­spite his very dif­fer­ent back­ground from Shin­oda, a trained clas­si­cal pi­anist with a de­gree in graphic de­sign.

The band, which had floun­dered be­fore Ben­ning­ton’s hir­ing, sealed a record deal with lead­ing la­bel Warner and its de­but, Hy- brid The­ory, be­came the topselling al­bum in the United States in 2001.

The al­bum - which has sold more than 10mn copies in the United States - pro­duced hits such as the snarling In The End and Crawl­ing, in which Ben­ning­ton re­veals his help­less­ness in the face of ad­dic­tion.

Linkin Park went on to re­lease six more stu­dio al­bums, all of them en­ter­ing the top three on the US charts.

The lat­est al­bum, One More Light, came out in May and marked a stylis­tic de­par­ture for Linkin Park with more pop and elec­tronic in­flu­ence.

While the sound alien­ated some long­time fans, Ben­ning­ton said he did not want to be stuck in the past and wel­comed the grow­ing blur­ring of gen­res in mu­sic.

Linkin Park has won two Gram­mys - in­clud­ing in a rap cat­e­gory for the col­lab­o­ra­tion

Numb/En­core with Jay-Z. Ben­ning­ton in 2013 briefly joined as the front­man of lead­ing grunge act Stone Tem­ple Pi­lots, fill­ing in for Scott Wei­land who died of an over­dose shortly after­ward.

Ben­ning­ton had spo­ken of be­ing moved by the death in May of an­other grunge great, Chris Cor­nell, the singer of Soundgar­den.

But there had been lit­tle pub­lic sign of Ben­ning­ton re­treat­ing from the world.

Linkin Park was sched­uled to start a tour next week which would in­clude a per­for­mance at New York’s Citi Field base­ball sta­dium along­side other ma­jor acts from the band’s gen­er­a­tion in­clud­ing Blink-182 and the WuTang Clan.

Rock­ers paid trib­ute to Ben­ning­ton in­clud­ing Avril Lav­i­gne, who re­called his kind­ness when they both played Ger­many’s Rock Am Ring fes­ti­val.

“I can'’t even deal. Hor­ri­ble news. To lose one of the best,” she wrote on In­sta­gram.

Ch­ester Ben­ning­ton

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