Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington dies at 41
Chester Bennington, the frontman of the alternative rock band Linkin Park, was found dead on Thursday, and his death is being investigated as a possible suicide, the L.A. County Coroner’s Office confirmed to PEOPLE.
Bennington was 41 and leaves behind his wife, Talinda Bentley, and six children.
“Shocked and heartbroken, but it’s true,” Bennington’s longtime band mate Mike Shinoda tweeted Thursday, joining the group of celebrities reacting to Bennington’s death on social media. “An official statement will come out as soon as we have one.”
According to TMZ, law enforcement officials said Bennington hanged himself and that his body was found by an employee just before 9 a.m. Thursday at a private residence in Palos Verdes Estates, a district of Los Angeles County.
“We received a call from law enforcement shortly after 9 a.m. this morning of a death in Palo Verdes Estates,” a spokesperson for the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department told PEOPLE. “We responded to the scene and confirm it’s Mr. Chester Bennington, unfortunately. It’s being investigated as a possible suicide.”
The AP reported that Los Angeles County coroner spokesman Brian Elias said additional details are not yet available.
Bennington was found on what would have been the late Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell’s 53rd birthday. The Linkin Park musician performed at the funeral for Cornell, who died by suicide in May. “You have inspired me in many ways you could never have known,” Bennington wrote in part in a moving tribute shared on Twitter after Cornell’s death.
Bennington was born in Phoenix, Arizona on March 20, 1976, and developed a love for music at a young age. Songwriting became his outlet after suffering sexual abuse as a child and spiraling into drug addiction following his parents’ divorce at age 11. “I have been able to tap into all the negative things that can happen to me throughout my life by numbing myself to the pain so to speak and kind of being able to vent it through my music,” he told Spin in 2009.
Since forming in 1996 in Los Angeles, Linkin Park has released seven albums and scored Top 20 singles such as “In the End,” “Numb,” “Breaking the Habit,” and “What’ve Done.” (Bennington joined the band in 1998.) In 2004, the band collaborated with JAY-Z for Collision Course, a mash-up EP that combined Linkin Park songs with JAY-Z tracks and spawned the Grammy-winning single “Numb/Encore.”
The band released its latest album, One More Light, in May of this year. The album featured collaborations with rising pop singer Kiiara (“Heavy”) and rappers Pusha T and Stormy.
“Chester Bennington was an artist of extraordinary talent and charisma, and a human being with a huge heart and a caring soul,” said Cameron Strang, head of Linkin Park’s record label Warner Bros. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his beautiful family, his bandmates and his many friends. All of us at WBR join with millions of grieving fans around the world in saying: we love you Chester and you will be forever missed.”
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).