More than 300 memorials have been organized around the world in his honor. That’s how you know someone left an immense mark on the world.
Chester Bennington, better known at the lead singer and essentially face of Linkin Park, was the embodiment of the angst, passion, and emotional resonance that every person that listened to any of their songs felt. The raw pain and emotion in every single lyric, every beat, every build of momentum in their music left Linkin Park unmatched.
And even just focusing in on Chester Bennington, a powerful voice behind a weary soul, left us wanting more each time he sang (or screamed).
Bennington first began singing with a post-grunge band called Sean Dowdell and His Friends in the early 90s (later renamed Grey Daze). Together, the band recorded three albums: Demo, Wake/Me, and No Sun Today. After leaving the band in 1998, Bennington did not join another band until 1999/2000 when approached by Jeff Blue, VP of A&R at Zomba Music in L.A.
Warner Bros. Records released Linkin Park’s first album Hybrid Theory in October 2000. That little diddy “In the End” that’s been stuck in your head since 2000? Kudos to Linkin Park for bringing out the punk rock in all of us via their first album by saying what most of us couldn’t put into words or even thoughts. The song reached the top ten on numerous worldwide music charts and reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, the band's highest peak on the chart, as well as their first song that peaked within the Top 40.
And shock... Chester Bennington originally didn’t want the song to be included in the album. In a 2013 interview with V-Music Australia, Bennington said, “I was never a fan of 'In the End' and I didn't even want it to be on the record, honestly. How wrong could I have possibly been? I basically decided at that point I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about, so I leave that to other people who are actually talented at somehow picking songs that people are going to like the most.”
Yes, Chester. You were wrong. This song highlighted that life can’t be wasted, as the clock is constantly ticking. Really listen to the lyrics: "I tried so hard and got so far but in the end, it doesn't even matter." What matters most is the journey, not necessarily the destination. Happiness results from the moments that make up the journey.
And your journey, Chester Bennington, is uncompromised, unmatched, unforgettable. Thank you for sharing your life, your heart, your journey. Thank you for being the voice that many of this generation didn’t have (and still don’t for some) in expressing those vast emotions. Thank you for never letting go of the power behind the music and the message.
Riverbend has designated an area for people to gather on Saturday, August 12th between 6pm-8pm to remember the life and music of Chester Bennington
You will be sorely missed by all. RIP Chester Bennington.