Linkin Park co-founder Mike Shinoda has been left “shocked and heartbroken” by the death of bandmate Chester Bennington.
The singer, 41, reportedly hanged himself at a private residence in Palos Verdes, California, just two months after losing his close friend and fellow rocker, Chris Cornell, in similar circumstances.
Bennington’s death occurred on what would have been the Soundgarden and ex-Audioslave frontman’s 53rd birthday.
Tributes poured in as soon as the shocking reports of Chester’s passing hit the headlines, and Shinoda subsequently confirmed the tragedy in a brief Twitter post.
“Shocked and heartbroken, but it’s true,” he wrote. “An official statement will come out as soon as we have one.”
Bassist Dave Farrell also shared a short tweet, which simply read: “Heartbroken”.
Shinoda founded the band in 1996 with his high school pals, drummer Rob Bourdon and bassist Brad Delson, and the trio later recruited Bennington as singer.
The rockers shot to fame in 2000 with their debut album, Hybrid Theory, which featured the singles One Step Closer, Crawling, Papercut, and In the End. The release sold more than 30 million copies worldwide and earned the group a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rock Album. Linkin Park were also shortlisted for Best New Artist and Best Hard Rock Performance, which they won for Crawling.
They scored their second Grammy with rapper JAY-Z in 2006, for their Numb/Encore mash-up, which was named Best Rap/Sung Collaboration in 2006.
The hitmakers’ seventh studio album, One More Light, topped the U.S. Billboard 200 earlier this year (17) and a music video for the group’s new single, Talking To Myself, which features footage of the band onstage, debuted online just hours before Bennington’s death.
Linkin Park performed what was to be their last show with Bennington on 6 July (17) in Birmingham, England and had been due to return to the road for the next leg of the One More Light World Tour in Mansfield, Massachusetts next week (27Jul17).
In addition to his work with Linkin Park, Chester also fronted Dead by Sunrise and replaced Scott Weiland as the singer of Stone Temple Pilots from 2013 to 2015. Weiland died of an accidental drug overdose on his tour bus in December, 2015.
Bennington, who struggled with drink and drug addiction in the past, is survived by his wife Talinda Ann Bentley, a former Playboy model, and their three young children. He also had three other kids from previous relationships.