Chester Bennington was an American singer and songwriter best known as the frontman for the rock band Linkin Park.
Let’s see some facts about him!
1. Chester Charles Bennington was March 20, 1976 in Phoenix, Arizona.
2. His mother was a nurse, while his father was a police detective who worked with child sex abuse cases, and took double shifts.
3. Bennington took interest in music at a young age, citing bands Depeche Mode and Stone Temple Pilots as his early inspirations, and dreamed of becoming a member of Stone Temple Pilots.
4. Bennington’s parents divorced when he was 11 years old, and his father gained custody of him.
5. After the divorce, Bennington started abusing marijuana, alcohol, opium, cocaine, methamphetamine, and LSD.
6. He eventually overcame his drug addiction, and would go on to denounce drug use in future interviews.
7. During one Linkin Park tour, he started heavily drinking.
8. In 2011, he claimed to have quit, noting: “I just don’t want to be that person anymore.”
9. In an interview, Bennington revealed that he suffered sexual abuse from an older male friend when he was seven years old. He was afraid to ask for help because he did not want people to think he was gay or lying, and the abuse continued until the age of 13. The abuse and situation at home affected him so much that he felt the urge to kill and run away. To comfort himself, he drew pictures, and wrote poetry and songs.
10. Later, he revealed the abuser’s identity to his father, but chose not to continue the case after he realized the abuser was a victim himself.
11. At the age of 17, Bennington moved in with his mother, and was banned from leaving the house when his mother discovered his drug activity.
12. He worked at a Burger King before starting his career as a professional musician.
13. He was physically bullied in high school. In an interview, he said: “I was knocked around like a rag doll at school, for being skinny and looking different.”
14. Bennington first began singing with a band called Sean Dowdell and His Friends?.
15. They released an eponymous three-track cassette in 1993. Later, Sean Dowdell and Bennington moved on to form a new band, Grey Daze, a post-grunge band from Phoenix, Arizona.
16. The band recorded three albums; Demo in 1993, Wake/ Me in 1994, and …no sun today in 1997. Bennington left Grey Daze in 1998, but struggled to find another band.
17. Βennington first gained prominence as a vocalist following the release of Linkin Park’s debut album, Hybrid Theory, in 2000, which became a commercial success.
18. The album was certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America in 2005, making it the best-selling debut album of the decade, as well as one of the few albums to ever hit that many sales.
19. Linkin Park’s following studio albums, Meteora (2003), Minutes to Midnight (2007), A Thousand Suns (2010), Living Things (2012), and The Hunting Party (2014), continued the band’s success. Bennington formed his own band, Dead by Sunrise, as a side project in 2005.
20. The band’s debut album, Out of Ashes, was released on October 13, 2009.
21. He worked on new material with Stone Temple Pilots in 2013 to release the EP High Rise on October 8, 2013 via their own record label, Play Pen.
22. Bennington has been ranked in the Top 100 Heavy Metal Vocalists by Hit Parader (No. 46).
23. Bennington had a child, Jaime, from a previous relationship with Elka Brand. He also adopted his son, Isaiah.
24. Bennington married his first wife, Samantha Marie Olit, on October 31, 1996.
25. They had one child together, Draven Sebastian Bennington (born April 19, 2002).
26. Bennington’s relationship with his first wife declined during his early years with Linkin Park, and they divorced in 2005.
27. After divorcing his first wife, Bennington married Talinda Ann Bentley, a former Playboy model, with whom he had three children: Tyler Lee Bennington and twins Lilly and Lila (born 2011). The wedding ceremony was custom-designed.
28. Bennington and his wife were harassed by a cyberstalker named Devon Townsend for almost a year. Townsend was found guilty of tampering with the couple’s email, as well as sending threatening messages, and was later sentenced to two years in prison.
29. Bennington was a tattoo enthusiast.
30. He has done work and promotions with Club Tattoo, a tattoo parlor in Tempe, Arizona. Club Tattoo is owned by Sean Dowdell, Bennington’s friend since high school. They played together in two bands.
31. Bennington was a fan of the Phoenix Suns. He was also a fan of the Arizona Cardinals, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Arizona Coyotes.
32. In a January 2011 interview, in response to the 2011 Tucson shooting, Bennington said, “There’s a non-violent way to express yourself and get your point across – regardless of what you’re saying or what your point is. In a free society, people have a right to believe whatever they want to believe. That’s their business and they can speak their mind… but nobody, even in a free society, has the right to take another person’s life. Ever. That’s something that we really need to move beyond.”