LINKIN PARK frontman Chester Bennington has died of an apparent suicide. He was 41 years old.
Firefighters received a call about 9 a.m. regarding a cardiac arrest in the 2800 block of Via Victoria in Palos Verdes Estates in Palos Verdes Estates in Los Angeles county, said Joey Napoli, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Firefighters arrived and cleared the scene by 9:29 a.m., Napoli told the Los Angeles Times. Police would not confirm or deny a published report that the singer hanged himself.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ that Bennington was home alone at the time of the suicide. According to the site, his family was out of town. A housekeeper discovered Bennington‘s body, Palos Verdes Estates police Capt. Mark Velez told Daily Breeze.
Officers responding to the home in the exclusive enclave did not find a note, Velez said.
“Shortly after 9 a.m. this morning, we were notified by law enforcement of a death in Palos Verdes Estates,” Brian Elias, chief of operations for the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner, told Rolling Stone. “We responded to the scene and unfortunately confirmed that Mr. Chester Bennington was deceased at the scene.”
Elias told the Los Angeles Times that the coroner’s office is conducting a death investigation.
Chester‘s LINKIN PARK bandmate Mike Shinoda confirmed the reports, tweeting: “Shocked and heartbroken, but it’s true. An official statement will come out as soon as we have one.”
Chester wed Talinda Bentley in 2006. The couple share three children, and he has three children from previous relationships.
Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified Superintendent Don Austin confirmed to Daily Breeze Bennington had children in the school system.
“All day I’ve been receiving calls and texts from people expressing their sadness for the loss of someone who, anyone who knows him would describe as a great guy, and our interactions together were the same,” Austin said. “It was very clear that being a dad was more important to him than anything else. Our thoughts are with his family.”
The singer struggled with drugs and alcohol for years. He had said in the past he had considered committing suicide because he had been abused as a child by an older male.
“When I was young, getting beaten up and pretty much raped was no fun,” Chester told The Guardian in 2011. “No one wants that to happen to you and honestly, I don’t remember when it started.”
He recalled that seeing a photo of himself as a child at his mother’s house from around the time of the abuse brought it all back.
“I remember that stuff happening to me at that stage and even thinking about it now makes me want to cry,” he said. “My God, no wonder I became a drug addict. No wonder I just went completely insane for a little while.”
After Chris Cornell died in May, Bennington wrote a heartfelt message paying tribute to the SOUNDGARDEN frontman. In the message, Bennington wrote he couldn’t imagine the world without his late friend in it.
Bennington‘s body was found on what would have been Cornell‘s 53rd birthday.
TV show host Jimmy Kimmel tweeted earlier today that Bennington was one of the kindest people he’s had on his show.
LACUNA COIL singer Cristina Scabbia wrote that she was at a “loss for words,” adding, “why, why, why.”
SKILLET‘s John Cooper tweeted: “Absolutely no words. Speechless and so sad. I am such a fan.”
HALESTORM drummer Arejay Hale wrote: “OMFG I just heard the horrible news about Chester Bennington, how awful! My heart goes to the LP families, I was shocked to hear this today!”
STRYPER‘s Michael Sweet said: “Shocked & saddened to hear of Chester‘s death. He was one of the modern singers that I really respected & admired. RIP friend.”
MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx tweeted: “I am in tears. Chester just told me how happy he was… He was such a sweet and talented man. I feel so sad for his family, bandmates and fans.”
SLIPKNOT and STONE SOUR singer Corey Taylor wrote simply: “Jesus No…”
Bennington last year opened up in an interview with Metal Hammer about his lengthy battle with drug addiction some years back, which came to a head when his bandmates decided to stage an intervention. Bennington said that at one point he was smoking crack and using crystal meth, explaining: “I was on 11 hits of acid a day. I dropped so much acid I’m surprised I can still speak! I’d smoke a bunch of crack, do a bit of meth and just sit there and freak out. Then I’d smoke opium to come down. I weighed 110 pounds. My mom said I looked like I stepped out of Auschwitz. So I used pot to get off drugs.”
He continued: “In 2006… I did some counseling with the guys and they really opened up and told me how they felt. I had no idea that I had been such a nightmare. I knew that I had a drinking problem, a drug problem and that parts of my personal life were crazy but I didn’t realize how much that was affecting the people around me until I got a good dose of ‘Here’s-what-you’re-really-like.’ It was a shock. They said that I was two people — Chester and then that fucking guy. I didn’t want to be that guy.”
Bennington told The Pulse Of Radio a while back just how bad even his drinking problem got. “I lived on alcohol,” he said. “It was either beer, or Jack and Coke, or Jack Daniel’s in a pint glass with ice. And then it got to the point where my wife said to me about seven months after we got together, she goes, ‘I don’t think there’s been a day since I’ve known you that you haven’t drank.’ And I was like, ‘What are you talking about? That’s crazy’ — as I’m drinking a Jack and Coke. That was where my life went.”
Bennington told Metal Hammer that he’s pleased to be in a band now where everyone has their act together, saying: “We’re not a clichéd rock band where everyone is messed up on drugs. We’re all decent people, so that makes me proud too.”
LINKIN PARK‘s most recent album, “One More Light”, topped the Billboard 200 earlier this year.