Linkin Park’s lead singer Chester Bennington committed suicide a week ago, at the age of 41. The cause of his death was suicide by hanging. Band member Mike Shinoda confirmed Bennington’s death as he posted “Shocked and heartbroken, but it’s true….” on Twitter. The 41-year-old took the world by surprise simply because no one was expecting that in the midst of a band tour.
Tragically Bennington committed suicide on what would have been his very close friend Chris Cornell’s birthday, who also died of suicide in the same way. In Bennington’s memory, here are seven things you probably didn’t know about him.
1. He got addicted to drugs when his parents got divorced
Bennington’s parents got divorced when he was only 11 years old and his father gained the custody of him. After the divorce, he started abusing drugs and alcohols. He eventually overcame his drug addiction after marrying his second wife in 2007.
2. He suffered sexual abuse when he was 7 years old
In an interview, Bennington revealed that he suffered sexual abuse from an older male friend when he was just 7 years old. He was afraid to ask for help because he didn’t want people to think he was lying or he was gay and it continued until he was 13.
3. He worked at Burger King.
Before starting his professional music career, he worked at Burger King.
4. He was married twice and left behind a wife and six children
Bennington had two marriages and left behind six children. At the time of his death, he was married to his second wife, Talinda Bentley, with whom he had three children. Before that, he had one child with his first wife Samantha Marie Olit. Bennington also had one child from a previous unmarried relationship with his girlfriend Elka Brand and he adopted her son as well.
5. He made a wedding tattoo instead of a ring.
At the time of Chester and his first wife’s wedding, they were too poor to afford rings as he was working at Burger King at that time. So instead they got matching tattoos on their ring fingers.
6. He didn’t like “One Step Closer” at all
Rolling Stone talked with Bennington on April 2002 about the song. He stated “It’s hard for me to say which tracks on this record are the most powerful as my opinion was so off on the last one. I would never have thought One Step Closer would have been as big as it was. I didn’t even want that on the album! I thought it was weak in comparison to Crawling, In the End, Pushing Me Away, and Points of Authority. Those were the songs that I thought had set the standard for the [first] album and viewed One Step Closer as underneath that bar. I thought that song was ignorant in a certain way.”
7. He Openly Discussed His Depression
Chester Bennington struggled with depression for much of his life. Yet, he didn’t hide it. In fact, he shared it through his songwriting and in his interviews. In an interview published by The Mirror the day after Bennington’s death, the singer spoke honestly about his battles.
“I came to a point in my life where I was like, ‘I can either just give up and [expletive] die or I can [expletive] fight for what I want.’ And I chose to fight for what I wanted. I wanted to have good relationships. I wanted to love the people in my life. I wanted to enjoy my job. I wanted to enjoy being a dad and having friends and just getting up in the morning. Because that was a struggle for me.”
These are some little-known facts about Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington. The singer’s death is the latest tragedy to hit the music business. Rock music just lost another talented frontman. RIP Chester Bennington, you’ll always stay in our memories!