ĸLinkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington, who sold millions of albums with an ever-changing mix of hard rock, hip-hop and rap, has been found dead in his home near Los Angeles. He was 41.
A spokesman for the Los Angeles County coroner, Brian Elias, said authorities were investigating Bennington’s death as an apparent suicide at Palos Verdes Estates, a small coastal city near Los Angeles, but no additional details were available.
Band co-founder and producer Mike Shinoda said on Twitter he was “shocked and heartbroken”.
“Chester Bennington was an artist of extraordinary talent and charisma, and a human being with a huge heart and a caring soul,” Warner Brothers chief executive and chairman Cameron Stang said in a statement.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his beautiful family, his band-mates and his many friends.”
Fans noted that Bennington had died on what would have been the 53rd birthday of friend and fellow musician Chris Cornell, who died by suicide earlier this year.
When the world learnt of Cornell’s death, Bennington wrote to his friend on Instagram: “Your voice was joy and pain, anger and forgiveness, love and heartache all wrapped up into one. I suppose that’s what we all are.
“I can’t imagine a world without you in it. I pray you find peace in the next life.”
Bennington was close friends with Cornell and performed Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah at the Soundgarden singer’s memorial in late May.
“I had the great privilege of being a friend of Chris and being invited to be a member of his family,” he said at the ceremony.
Bennington was also the godfather of Cornell’s 11-year-old son Chris.
Cornell’s wife Vicky was among those taking to Twitter to lament the loss of Bennington.
Linkin Park albums back in the charts after death
Bennington’s death came a week before Linkin Park was due to kick off the US leg of its 10th headline tour.
They had been showcasing their seventh album, One More Light, released in May. It divided critics and fans alike for its embrace of moody pop.
The band had a show at New York’s Citi Field scheduled for next week with Blink 182.
The Grammy Award-winning group sold more than 70 million albums worldwide, including 10 million copies of their 2000 debut, Hybrid Theory, and 4 million with 2003’s multiplatinum Meteora. Both albums explored feelings of frustration and fury.
They also sold millions with remix album Reanimation and the mash-up record with Jay-Z, Collision Course.
They won Grammys for best hard rock performance in 2001 for Crawling and best rap/sung collaboration for Numb/Encore in 2005.