Rest in Power: Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington

Sometimes solutions aren’t so simple.
Sometimes goodbye’s the only way.

-Shadow of the Day, Linkin Park

Those two lines from Linkin Park’s “Shadow of the Day” hit me like a freight train when I saw the news today that lead singer Chester Bennington had taken his life at the age of 41.

Whether you enjoyed Linkin Park’s rap metal mix or not, as soon as Bennington’s piercingly ferocious voice hit the track, you knew who it was. He had one of the most unique and iconic musical voices of the 2000’s that could rock you to your core or get you deep in your feelings. The former can be heard in songs like “Crawling” or “In the End.”

The band’s style became a hit with Pennington’s vocals and bandmate Mike Shinoda’s hooks and rhymes. While they found early success with their debut album Hybrid Theory (2000) and Meteora (2003), Linkin Park continued to evolve and engage with other genres throughout the years to great critical acclaim.

70 million records later, 11 of Linkin Park’s singles have reached the top spot on Billboard’s Alternative chart, the second-most of any artist. All of that fame and success came at the expense of Bennington, who has been open about how his alcohol and drug abuse fueled his music.

There’s something inside me
That pulls beneath the surface.
Consuming, confusing.
This lack of self control I fear
Is never ending, controlling.

-Crawling, Linkin Park

In an interview with Noisecreep, Bennington said the above lyrics from the track “Crawling” were “about feeling like I had no control over myself in terms of drugs and alcohol. That feeling, being able to write about it, sing about it, that song, those words sold millions of records, I won a Grammy, I made a lot of money.”

But it came at an epic price.

“If it wasn’t for music I’d be dead. One hundred percent,” he said.

We’ll never be able to understand what a person is going through when it comes to addiction or depression, and it’s always a shame when artists like Bennington and his friend from Soundgarden, Chris Cornell, leave so tragically and unexpectedly. Weirdly enough, Bennington took his life on what would have been Cornell’s 53rd birthday.

While they may be gone, they won’t be forgotten as they live on through their music. For example, here’s Bennington and Cornell singing Crawling on stage together. (Warning: Explicit lyrics)

And the shadow of the day
Will embrace the world in grey.
And the sun will set for you.

-Shadow of the Day, Linkin Park

———— Adam Woodard

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