Friends and family of Chester Bennington are shocked over the star’s suicide as they believed he ‘was in a good place in his life.’
The 41-year-old was found dead in his home in Palos Verdes near Los Angeles before 9am on Thursday.
A Los Angeles County coroner confirmed they were investigating Bennington’s death as an apparent suicide but no more details were available.
Law enforcement officials say Bennington hanged himself from a door, in a similar manner to friend Chris Cornell, in his bedroom and he was home alone at the time, according to TMZ. He was found on the top floor by his housekeeper.
Band-mate Joe Hahn arrived at his home on Thursday afternoon. Other friends and relatives flipped the finger to photographers gathered outside.
After news of his shock death arose, friends said that while they never suspected he’d kill himself, but Bennington was ‘never the same’ after the death of his close friend Chris Cornell.
His apparent suicide was on the same day as Cornell’s birthday. The Soundgarden rocker killed himself in May by hanging.
‘Chester and Chris were so close, and he was never the same after Chris’s death,’ the friend told Radar.
The friend of Bennington’s also noted that Cornell’s death deeply affected Bennington, who also struggled with ‘addiction issues’.
‘But everyone thought that he had it licked. He seemed to be at a good place in his life. It is just so tragic and there are no words,’ the friend told Radar.
His band mates were said to be blindsided by Chester’s suicide with sources telling TMZ they had plans to attend a photo shoot in Hollywood later on Thursday.
One Linkin Park band member went to pick him up on Thursday morning but arrived to find police already at his home.
The singer had a history of drug and alcohol abuse. He was married and is survived by his six children from two relationships.
Chester had flown back to Los Angeles on Wednesday night. He had been spending time in Arizona with his wife Talinda, but she remained behind.
Chester, as well as Linkin Park guitarist Brad Delson, had performed Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ for the crowd of mourners at Cornell’s funeral.
Linkin Park was on tour following the release of the band’s latest album One More Light. They had a show at New York’s Citi Field scheduled for next week with Blink 182.
They played together for the last time on July 7 in Birmingham, England.
The band released its latest music video just two hours before news of his death on Thursday.
Bennington was married to his second wife Talinda, a former Playboy model, for 12 years. He divorced his first wife Samantha Marie Olit in 2005 after nine years of marriage.
The frontman had been open about his history of substance abuse and acknowledged in one interview in 2011 that he had once been a ‘full blown, raging alcoholic’.
He confessed to smoking pot after his parents divorced when he was 11. The drug use then soared into cocaine and meth.
Bennington had also spoken out about being sexually abused as a seven-year-old, saying he had been molested by an older male friend.
‘If I think back to when I was really young, to when I was being molested, to when all these horrible things were going on around me, I shudder,’ he said in one interview.
He went to rehab for his drug and alcohol addiction after marrying his second wife and said he really began to change in 2007.
In a 2011 interview, he said he was sober.
‘I don’t drink. I choose to be sober now. I have drunk over the last six years, but I just don’t want to be that person anymore.’
Linkin Park’s sixth and latest album, One More Light, jumped to the top of the Billboard chart when it was released in May.
The Grammy Award-winning group sold 10 million copies of their 2000 debut Hybrid Theory, and then another 4 million with 2003’s multiplatinum Meteora. Both albums explored feelings of frustration and fury.
They famously collaborated with JAY-Z in 2004 for Collision Course.
They won Grammys for best hard rock performance in 2001 for Crawling and best rap/sung collaboration for Numb/Encore in 2005.
Bennington formed his own band, Dead by Sunrise, as a side project in 2005. He was also the lead vocalist for Stone Temple Pilots from 2013 to 2015.
When he got his big break in 1999, Bennington was an assistant at a digital-services firm in Phoenix. A music executive sent him a demo from the band Xero, who needed a lead singer.
Bennington wrote and recorded new vocals over the band’s playing and sent the results back. He soon got the gig and the band then changed its named to Hybrid Theory, then Linkin Park.
He told The Associated Press in 2010 that because of the sound the band is known for, it’s virtually impossible to satisfy their many kinds of fans.
‘We’re making music for us, that we like. We’re not making music for other people,’ he said.
‘We’re not thinking, ‘Let’s make a pie-graph of all our fans and find out how many people fit in whatever category and then make the perfect album for them.’ Like, that would be absolutely ridiculous.’
Tributes have been flowing in from fellow musicians and shocked fans since his shock death.
The band Nickelback tweeted: ‘When life leaves us blind, love keeps us kind.’ – Chester Bennington. Rest easy sir.’
‘Oh dear God. Massive RIP to Chester Bennington of @linkinpark this BREAKS OUR HEART. Suicide is the devil on earth walking amongst us,’ OneRepublic tweeted.
Nicky Romero said: ‘In the end, it really matters. You will be missed. RIP Chester Bennington.’
‘We just lost one of the loudest, most iconic voices of our generation. RIP Chester Bennington,’ another tribute read.
Josh Franceschi tweeted: ‘Incredibly sad news about Chester Bennington. His voice and band a huge inspiration to so many. Thoughts with his family & LP x.’
While George Shrouder wrote: ‘Depression is hard to understand. But if it can kill Robin Williams, Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington I’d say it’s pretty damn real.’
Those seeking support should contact the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255, or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
For confidential support In Australia, call the Lifeline 24-hour crisis support on 13 11 14 or MensLine Australia on 1300 78 99 78.