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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 21, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 29
NUMBED: Chester Bennington of Linkin Park dies at 41
Arts & Entertainment
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NUMBED: Chester Bennington of Linkin Park dies at 41

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

The rock world was again stunned by the death of another musician this week, when co-leader of the Grammy-winning band Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, was confirmed dead at his Arizona home. According to reports, the 41 year-old singer-songwriter took his own life and was found on the morning of July 20 by his current wife, Talinda Ann Bentley, and died similarly - by hanging himself - as did one of his idols, Chris Cornell.

Linkin Park exploded onto the music scene in 2000 with its debut album Hybrid Theory, buoyed by the monstrous single 'In the End' and two other hits, 'Crawling' and 'One Step Closer.' During a ten-year stretch, the group would come to sell over 70 million albums and 30 million singles worldwide. Some of their most noted work includes 'Numb,' 'Breaking the Habit,' 'What I've Done,' 'The Catalyst' and 'Faint,' to name a few. In 2002, Linkin Park released Reanimation, a remix project that reinterpreted the songs from Hybrid Theory as hip hop numbers; it featured the very popular track 'Numb/Encore' with rap giant Jay Z.

From the start of their career, Linkin Park somehow found a committed fan base within the LGBT community. Neither of the band members is, or was, gay, nor did any of the band's material center on pro-LGBT issues; however, they seemed to strike a chord with gay men who followed the alternative music genre. The group's lyrics and sound, while edgy, never featured vulgarity, discriminating words, or violent tones. Considered 'nu-metal,' Linkin Park was a non-hardcore hard rock act, plus they were one of the first to add electronic backgrounds to their songs.

Off stage, the group was known to be an LGBT ally, outspokenly supporting same-sex marriage and participating in the anti-bullying campaign 'It Gets Better.' Bennington, in fact, once told an interesting story about meeting Gene Simmons of KISS, who told him 'if we were in prison, I'd make love to you.' Mike Shinoda, the other co-lead singer of Linkin Park and Simmons' wife, Shannon Tweed, were present when the two rock stars met.

I saw the band several times in concert, including an intimate gig at the Moore Theatre, as part of a special performance sponsored by local radio station The End. I also saw Linkin Park perform on the same stage, same night with Metallica at then-Qwest Field, and I remember they had an afternoon set. I got to the stadium just in time to see them go on stage, and of all five or six acts performing that day, I was most excited to see them.

Linkin Park was scheduled to perform October 14 at Key Arena, as part of a mega world tour, with opening guest Snoop Dogg. At press time, no information was available on whether the show was to be canceled.

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