When the music World is still moaning the sudden demise of Chris Cornell, the horrid suicide news of Chester Bennington on 20 July, once again left everyone deeply anguished. Incidentally, Chester passed away on the day which would have been his close friend Chris Cornell’s 53rd Birthday.
Bennington had a traumatized childhood filled with agony and pain. As an eleven year old, his future was jeopardized by his parents bitter divorce proceedings. A deeply perturbed young soul eventually took a solace at deadly drugs like marijuana and cocaine, turning him into a serious drug addict. Later he had to struggle trying to overcome his drug addiction. His trauma witnessed a sore multifold with a sexual abuse by an older friend of Bennington till he turned 13. He stated during one of his interviews admitting the abuse that this abuse made him crazy to the extent that he intended to murder people.
“I tried so hard, and got so far
But in the end, it doesn’t even matter
I had to fall, to lose it all,
But in the end, it doesn’t even matter”
No wonder, Chester’s passionate music and lyrics were filled with so much agony and pain. He is the person who introduced the 80s children to the Rock music. He added life, zeal and sensibility to Linkinpark. Bennington’s screams and howls filled with deep affliction and palpably real, went on to become the teenage rage of the beginning of the third millennium. He had his fair share of struggle to make his niche in the musical World until he auditioned for Linkinpark and the rest is history.
His partnership with Mike Shinoda, Linkinpark’s other lead vocalist in making music proved wonders for the band, releasing their first super successful debut album, Hybrid Theory. The album went on to break the records, reaching number two on the Billboard Chart and ranking at top positions on the charts worldwide. It was also nominated for the prestigious Grammy Award for the best Rock album in 2002 and later went on to bag Diamond certificate in 2005, awarded by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and multi-Platinum in several other countries for record number of sales.
The signature song “In the end” of the album broke all the records and peaked high on all the musical charts worldwide. Next hit song, “Crawling” bagged the prestigious Grammy award. With Bennington’s strong vocal range and Shinoda’s rap, Linkinpark became the hottest Rock sensation among the youth during its time pioneering a completely new genre, an unconventional mix of metal and rap. Their debut album was followed by another successful album, Meteora released in 2003, which also topped the Billboard album chart.
I want to heal, I want to feel,
What I thought was never real
I want to let go of the pain I felt so long (Erase all the pain ’til it’s gone)
I want to heal, I want to feel,
Like I’m close to something real
I want to find something I’ve wanted all along
Somewhere I belong
Maybe, Chester Bennington left the World so early for good and to be the part of the better World, he really belongs to. However, it will be very difficult to imagine the Rock music World without Bennington. He is the legend who created such a deep impact in the music World, the music that has been in vogue for several generations and we are sure would outlive uncountable generations ahead.
Rest in Peace Chester Bennington!