Chester Bennington is the former lead singer of Linkin Park who was widely regarded as one of the best rock vocalists of his time. Sadly, Bennington was found dead at his California home on the 20th of July, 2017. Until his passing, he was also the frontman of other bands like Dead by Sunrise, Grey Daze, and Stone Temple Pilots. Here’s his story.
Chester Bennington Bio
Bennington was born Chester Charles Bennington to Susan Elaine Johnson and Lee Russell Bennington on March 20, 1976, in Phoenix, Arizona. His mother worked as a nurse while his father was a police detective.
From a very young age, Bennington took an interest in music. Despite being a victim of sexual abuse from an older male friend from around the age of 7, he lived a normal childhood until his parents divorced when he was 11. Bennington went on to find solace in writing songs and poetry but after a while, he started abusing alcohol and other illegal substances like cocaine, meth, and marijuana.
At around the age of 17, the aspiring musician left his father to live with his mother who discovered that he was a drug user and helped him overcome his addiction. During that period, Bennington joined a band called Sean Dowdell and His Friends before later forming a new band called Grey Daze with Dowdell. The group recorded and released three albums between 1993 and 1997 before Bennington moved on in 1998.
Due to his failure to find success, Chester Bennington contemplated abandoning his music career before he was invited to audition for a position on a group that turned out to be Linkin Park. The group eventually got a record deal with Warner Bros. Records and released their debut album, “Hybrid Through” in October 2000.
In 2005, Bennington co-founded another group, Dead By Sunrise with whom he released the album “Out of Ashes” in October 2009. He was later recruited as lead singer to Stone Temple Pilots, his favourite childhood band in May 2013 after its longtime lead singer Scott Weiland parted ways with the group. On May 19, Chester Bennington and the group released their first song titled “Out of Time” which was featured on the album ‘High Rise’ released in October 2013.
His Net Worth
Chester Bennington left behind a net worth estimated to be around $30 million which he amassed all through his music career that spanned over twenty years.
His debut album with Linkin Park, “Hybrid”, sold over 11 million copies in the United States alone making him a multi-time platinum recording artist. In general, Linkin Park has sold over 100 million records worldwide and have gone ahead to tour the world, selling out stadiums and arenas everywhere they go.
Bennington’s Family: His Wife and Children
Chester Bennington was married twice. The first time was to Samantha Marie Olit, on October 31, 1996. Their relationship grew tumultuous during his early days as an artist and eventually ended in divorce in 2005. He went on to marry former Playmate, Talinda Ann Bentley in 2006.
Bennington has a total of six children. His first child, Jamie, was born in May 1996 from a relationship he had with Elka Brand. His second child, Draven Sebastian, born in April 2002, was with his first wife. The next three children, Tyler Lee, born in March 2006 and twins Lilly and Lila, born in November 2011, were with his second wife.
In 2006, between his two marriages, Chester Bennington adopted Elka Brand’s son from another relationship named Isiah.
What Caused His Death?
Chester Bennington was found dead by his housekeeper in the morning of July 20, 2017, in what looked like a suicide. Authorities confirmed that his death was indeed suicide by hanging with the coroner office’s toxicology report finding trace amounts of alcohol in his system.
It is unclear what exactly drove the talented singer to take his life, however, the day of his death was the birthday of one of his close friends, Chris Cornell, the lead vocalist of bands like Soundgarden and Audioslave. Chris took his own life by hanging two months earlier. Bennington notably sang Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” song at his friend’s funeral and was the godfather to his son Christopher.
Chester Bennington’s funeral was held at South Coast Botanic Garden after which his remains were cremated.