Chester Charles Bennington, the favorite lead vocalist of many was an American musician, singer, songwriter and actor best known as the frontman for the rock band Linkin Park. He was also a member of the groups Dead by Sunrise, Bucket of Weenies, Sean Dowdell And His Friends? and Grey Daze. Bennington was the lead vocalist for Stone Temple Pilots from 2013 to 2015. Bennington’s mother was a nurse and his father was a police detective. His early life was a period many people wouldn’t have been able to come out through.
He was sexually abused for 6 years by an elder male friend just when he was 7 years old. Ironically, Bennington’s father committed a child sex abuse before this incident took place and was never aware of what was going through his son’s mind even after years. He was afraid to ask for help because he did not want people to think he was gay or lying, and the abuse continued until the age of 13. The abuse and situation at home affected him so much that he felt the urge to kill and run away. To comfort himself, he drew pictures, and wrote poetry and songs. Later, he revealed the abuser’s identity to his father, but chose not to continue the case after he realized the abuser was a victim himself. Bennington’s parents divorced when he was just 11 years old, and his father gained the custody leaving Chester mentally tortured, yet again. Out of all this torture and frustration, the 11 year old kid started abusing some serious drugs like marijuana, alcohol, opium, cocaine, methamphetamine, and LSD. He attended Centennial High School at the beginning of his freshman year, where he was physically bullied for months at the age of 16. Due to this, he then went to Greenway High School, where he started his first band, Gray Daze.
It was the start of his music career, which too was as a lead vocalist. At the height of the success, Gray Daze landed a local radio with B-12 in 1997 and played in front of up to 1500 spectators. In 1998, Bennington and Mace Beyers (who played bass) left the band due to interreligious conflicts. The lead singer was dissatisfied with the fact that other members were trying to sell the lyrics he and Sean Dowdell (who played drums) had written.
Meanwhile, when he was 17, he moved in with his mother. But, things were again against him. His mother discovered his drug activity, and he was banned from leaving the house. After convincing his mother that he’d stay away from drugs, he then started working at a Burger King nearby to his house. When he was 20, he married Samantha Bennington. But they were too poor to afford rings at that time, so they instead got matching tattoos on their ring fingers.
After Bennington left Grey Daze in 1998, he struggled to find another band. 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. Bennington quit his day job at a digital services firm and took his family to California, where he had a successful audition with Xero. Xero was then renamed to Hybrid Theory, and finally to the world renowned Linkin Park. Bennington’s vocals are described as high-pitched and emotional, syncing perfectly to the contrasting Shinoda’s hiphop rap delivery. Bennington became one the best musicians of all time, famous for his screams in songs like Faint and Bleed It Out. He even revealed in an interview that the lyrics he liked the most were Breaking The Habit and his least liked lyrics were One Step Closer which he never liked performing as well.
After going through so much in life, coming out this big gives hope and inspiration to all of us. In 2011, he claimed to have quit drugs, noting: “I just don’t want to be that person anymore.” The news that you are no more saddens all of us deep in our hearts. This news have made this night even darker. In the end, you mattered to us. Personally to me, you were a hero. The dream to listen to you live will remain a dream now. The first English song I ever listened to was In The End, which is still my favorite. What’s ironical is that when this song was released, I was not even born.