Chester Bennington, the ferocious lead singer for the platinum-selling hard rock band Linkin Park, has died. He was 41.
Brian Elias, the chief of operations for the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, confirmed the death and said it was being investigated as a possible suicide. Mr. Elias said that law enforcement authorities responded to a call shortly after 9 a.m. Pacific Time and were conducting a death investigation in Palos Verdes Estates in Los Angeles County.
Mr. Bennington, who was known for his piercing scream and free-flowing anguish, released seven albums with Linkin Park. The band’s most recent record, “One More Light” arrived in May and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart. The band was currently on tour and scheduled to play a concert Thursday night in Mansfield, Mass.
Mike Shinoda, one of the band’s founders, spoke on behalf of the group in a tweet. “Shocked and heartbroken,” he wrote, adding that the band will be issuing a statement.
Mr. Bennington also performed in the side project Dead by Sunrise and joined Stone Temple Pilots as its lead singer after the band split with the singer Scott Weiland in 2013.
In May, he responded to the death by hanging of his friend, the singer Chris Cornell, in a note he shared on social media. “I can’t imagine a world without you in it,” he wrote. “I pray you find peace in the next life.”
A week later, he posted a series of positive tweets. In one, he shared a photo of his daughter graduating from the University of San Diego. In another, he wrote about being creatively inspired: “Feeling very creative this last week. I’ve written 6 songs and I’m happy with all of them. Just getting started.”
But Mr. Bennington had also been open about his struggles with the drug and alcohol addiction that had fueled many of his biggest hits with Linkin Park.
“I have been able to tap into all the negative things that can happen to me throughout my life by numbing myself to the pain so to speak and kind of being able to vent it through my music,” he said in a 2009 interview with Noisecreep. “I don’t have a problem with people knowing that I had a drinking problem. That’s who I am and I’m kind of lucky in a lot of ways cause I get to do something about it.”
On “Crawling,” one of the band’s defining singles from its 2000 debut, “Hybrid Theory,” which went on to sell more than 11 million copies in the United States, Mr. Bennington sings: “There’s something inside me that pulls beneath the surface/consuming, confusing/this lack of self-control I fear is never ending.”
He said later that the song was “about feeling like I had no control over myself in terms of drugs and alcohol.”
“That feeling,” he added, “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.”
Still, as the group’s career progressed, Mr. Bennington was adamant about remaining transparent in his music with regards to his personal ups and downs. The recording studio, he told Rock Sound, “is not a safe place for me to be unless I’m doing what I need to do — taking care of myself, being real, being open, getting it out, taking all the steps to make myself whole.”
“If it wasn’t for music I’d be dead,” he added. “One hundred percent.”
A full obituary will appear soon.