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Chester Bennington

Chester Charles Bennington (March 20, 1976 – July 20, 2017) was an American singer and songwriter best known as the frontman for the rock band Linkin Park. He was also the lead singer for Dead by Sunrise and fronted Stone Temple Pilots from 2013 to 2015. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chester_Bennington http://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/chester-bennington-4698.php

Early Years


Chester Bennington was born on March 20, 1976 in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S. His father worked as a police detective, while his mother was a nurse. His parents separated when he was 11 years old. He received his basic education from Ironwood High School.

Bennington took interest in music at a young age, citing bands Depeche Mode and Stone Temple Pilots as his early inspirations, and dreamed of becoming a member of Stone Temple Pilots, which he later achieved.

As a child, he took to drugs and started abusing marijuana, alcohol, opium, cocaine, methamphetamine and LSD.

When he turned seventeen, he started living with his mother. It was during this time that she caught him taking drugs, after which he was forbidden to go out of the house. To earn a living, he started working part time at a Burger King restaurant

Career Beginning


Bennington 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.

However, he wasn’t contented as he was not given due credit. Unhappy about the same, he left the band in 1998.

Linkin Park


Bennington was frustrated and almost ready to quit his musical career altogether when 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. 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.

On October 24, 2000, Linkin Park released their debut album, Hybrid Theory, through Warner Bros. Records. Bennington and Shinoda wrote the lyrics to Hybrid Theory based on some early material. The album achieved much success and achieved a blockbuster status. It entered the US Billboard charts at number 16 and soon became the best-selling album of the year.

Bennington primarily served as Linkin Park's lead vocalist, but occasionally shared the role with Shinoda. All Music Guide described Bennington's vocals as "higher-pitched" and "emotional", in contrast to Shinoda's hip-hop-style delivery. Both members also worked together to write lyrics for the band's songs.




In 2003, he gave the vocals for the ‘Linkin Park’ album, ‘Meteora’, which was released under the Warner Bros. Records label. The album included the hit song, ‘Numb’. The album earned instant worldwide recognition and catapulted to the number 1 position in the US and UK chart and number 2 in Australia immediately after release.


Dead by Sunrise


In 2005, he founded his own rock band named the ‘Dead by Sunrise’, which he claimed he founded because some of the songs that he had written were good but did not sync well with ‘Linkin Park’ style.

Bennington co-founded Dead by Sunrise in 2005 with Orgy and Julien-K members Amir Derakh and Ryan Shuck. Dead by Sunrise made their live debut in May 2008, performing four songs at the 13th anniversary party for Club Tattoo in Tempe, Arizona.

The band released their debut album Out of Ashes on October 13, 2009.


First Child & Marriage


Bennington had a child, Jaime (born May 12, 1996), from his relationship with Elka Brand. In 2006, he also adopted Brand's other son, Isaiah. He married his first wife, Samantha Marie Olit, on October 31, 1996. They had one child together, Draven Sebastian (born April 19, 2002).Bennington's relationship with his first wife declined during his early years with Linkin Park, and they divorced in 2005.

Married Talinda Ann Bentley


In 2006, he married Talinda Ann Bentley, a former Playboy model with whom he had three children: Tyler Lee Bennington (born March 2006) and twins Lilly and Lila (born March 2011).

Their whirlwind romance began in 2004 after they were introduced by a shared friend, musician, Ryan Shuck, and began dating in December - ten days later they had moved in together.

In a 2009 interview Chester revealed his second wife should be credited with helping him battle his depression.

“My divorce was one of the worst and best things to ever happen to me in my life. Everything I had worked so hard for was gone after we were through. Everything! I was wiped out and it was tough on my ego to let go of all of that. I went from living in a huge house to a tiny apartment in Santa Monica. I was so drained and bitter during that time.

“But I eventually learned from it and moved on,” he added, “I then fell in love again and I got help facing my demons… When I met Talinda, I knew she was the one pretty instantly. She moved into my place after a week and a half or something like that."

Chester would often pen loving messages to his wife and wrote Give Me Your Name, after forming band Dead by Sunrise in 2005.

The lyrics include: "Give me a smile / Give me your name girl / Give me a sign to get my way / And get what I came for / Because you don’t come easy,” goes the opening verse, alluding to the struggles that Bennington had after his divorce.

"Given that Bentley helped him face his demons, lyrics like “And then I fall into the ocean (into the ocean) / Inside of your eyes / Taking me deeper / Where all the pain dies” are especially touching and intimate. Listen to the full song above."

Minutes to Midnight


His third album ‘Minutes to Midnight’ was released in 2007. With over 600,000 copies in its first week and gaining the top spot on the Billboard Charts, it became one of the most successful albums.


A Thousand Suns


In 2010, he gave the vocals for the Linkin Park’ fourth album, ‘A Thousand Suns’, which was a muti-concept album that highlighted the concept of nuclear warfare. The album received positive reviews.

The Catalyst" was sent to radio and released to digital music retailers on August 2, 2010. "The Catalyst" peaked at the Billboard Alternative Songsand Rock Songs charts. Three more singles were released to promote the album: "Waiting for the End", "Burning in the Skies" and "Iridescent". "The Catalyst" and "Waiting for the End" were certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Linkin Park promoted the album through the A Thousand Suns World Tour from October 2010 to September 2011.


Living Things


In 2012, he featured as the lead singer for the Linkin Park’ album, ‘Living Things’, which was one among the band’s bestselling albums. The album also featured the lead single, ‘Burn It Down’. It sold over 223,000 copies during its debut week, ranking No. 1 on the US Albums Charts.


Stone Temple Pilots


In February 2013, Stone Temple Pilots parted ways with long-time lead singer Scott Weiland. The band recruited Bennington to replace Weiland in May 2013. On May 18, 2013, Bennington 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", which debuted on May 19, and was available for free download. It was later announced by Chester and the band in an exclusive KROQ interview that he was officially the new frontman of Stone Temple Pilots and discussed the possibility of a new album and tour. On May 19, 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, which was released on October 8, 2013.

Bennington reflected on joining Stone Temple Pilots, stating, "Every band has its own kind of vibe. Stone Temple Pilots has this sexier, more classic rock feel to it. Linkin Park is a very modern, very tech-heavy type of band. I grew up listening to these guys. When this opportunity came up, it was just like a no-brainer." Bennington stated in interviews that singing lead vocals in Stone Temple Pilots was his lifelong dream. He left the band on good terms due to his commitments with Linkin Park in 2015.




Bennington died of suicide at his home in Palos Verdes Estates, California; his housekeeper discovered his body around 9:00 a.m. PDT on July 20, 2017.

 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". On July 21, Brian Elias, the chief of operations for the office of the medical examiner-coroner, confirmed that a half-empty bottle of alcohol was found on the scene, but no other drugs were present. The band announced that they had canceled the North American leg of their One More Light Tour following Bennington's death and that tickets will be refunded.

Bennington's death occurred on what would have been Chris Cornell's 53rd birthday. Cornell, who was a close friend of Bennington, had also died of suicide by hanging two months prior. Shinoda noted that Bennington was very aggrieved when the band performed "One More Light" in his honor, where he could not finish singing the song, be it in rehearsal or in a live performance setting. Bennington sang Leonard Cohen's song "Hallelujah" at Cornell's funeral. He was also the godfather of Cornell's son Christopher.

One More Light


One More Light is the seventh studio album by Linkin Park. It was released on May 19, 2017 through Warner Bros. Records and Machine Shop, following the 2014 album The Hunting Party. The album's first single, "Heavy", was released on February 16, 2017. It is their first album with a title track. In deciding on the title track, they felt that the song "One More Light" was the heart of the album. This was also the last album featuring Chester Bennington as lead vocalist before his death on July 20, 2017.