Chester Charles Bennington (March 20, 1976 – July 20, 2017) was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. He was best known as the lead vocalist for Linkin Park and was also lead vocalist for the bands Dead by Sunrise, Stone Temple Pilots, and Grey Daze. He also appeared in films such as Crank, Crank: High Voltage, and Saw 3D.
Bennington first gained prominence as a vocalist following the release of Linkin Park’s debut album Hybrid Theory (2000), which was a worldwide commercial success. The album was certified diamond by the RIAA in 2005, making it the best-selling debut album of the decade, as well as one of the few albums ever to achieve that many sales. Linkin Park’s following studio albums, from Meteora (2003) to One More Light (2017), continued the band’s success.
Bennington formed his own band, Dead by Sunrise, as a side project in 2005. The band’s debut album, Out of Ashes, was released on October 13, 2009. He became the lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots in 2013 to release the extended play record High Rise on October 8, 2013, via their own record label, Play Pen, but left in 2015 to focus solely on Linkin Park.
On July 20, 2017, Bennington was found dead at his home in Palos Verdes Estates, California. His death was ruled a suicide by hanging. Hit Parader magazine placed Bennington number 46 on their list of the “100 Metal Vocalists of All Time”. Writing for Billboard, Dan Weiss stated that Bennington “turned nu-metal universal”. Linkin Park has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the world’s best-selling musical acts.