Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington, who overcame a troubled childhood to top the charts with an angry but melodic brand of metal, was found dead Thursday in an apparent suicide. He was 41.
“Shocked and heartbroken, but it’s true,” Linkin Park’s guitarist and main songwriter Mike Shinoda wrote on Twitter.
The Los Angeles County coroner’s office said it received a call just after 9 am (1600 GMT) that Bennington had been found hanging at his home in the luxurious Palos Verdes Estate area.
“It is being handled as a possible suicide,” said Brian Elias, chief of operations at the coroner’s office.
Just hours before his death, Linkin Park had released a video for its latest single, “Talking To Myself,” whose lyrics took on a new meaning.
The song appears to take the vantage point of Bennington’s wife, Talinda Ann Bentley, as she begs him to control his substance abuse.
Bennington — who had six children from two marriages — had wrestled with alcohol and drugs since he was a pre-teenager and he coped with his parents’ divorce.
Born and raised in Arizona, Bennington said that a family friend abused him starting at the age of seven.
“I was getting beaten up and being forced to do things I didn’t want to do. It destroyed my self-confidence,” he told the British music site Team Rock in 2014.
“Like most people, I was too afraid to say anything. I didn’t want people to think I was gay or that I was lying,” he said.
He turned his rage into music with a growling metal voice. Linkin Park became one of the leading forces in the wave of so-called nu metal which incorporated pop structures and hip-hop, with Shinoda often rapping in between Bennington’s vocals.