Chester Bennington, the lead singer and songwriter of the popular alt-rock, nu-metal band Linkin Park was found dead this morning in a Palos Verdes Estates, Los Angeles home.
Linkin Park band member Mike Shinoda confirmed Bennington's death with a tweet stating "Shocked and heartbroken, but it's true." Bennington was 41.
Initially, TMZ' reported that their their law-enforcement sources told them that Bennigton died due to self-inflicted hanging. The Los Angeles County coroner's office has since confirmed that it is investigating the case as a suicide.
Bennington was famously forthright in his discussions of his own battles with depression, substance abuse and a number of physical maladies including severe extreme abdominal and gastrointestinal pain. His lyrics, as well, often dwelled on the darker side of mental-health issues, family relationships and personal alienation.
Since its foundation in 1996 — first as Xero, then as Hybrid Theory, then as Linkin Park — Bennington's band offered an angry, hip-hop infused take on modern rock, heavy on crashing guitars, samples and interspersed rap lyrics. Bennington joined the band in 1999. Bennington had been a member of the groups Sean Dowdell and His Friends? and Grey Daze.
While rarely a critical favorite, Linkin Park had a wide, fervent fan base, a following that allowed the act to sell an estimated 68 million records and perform thousands of sold out arena concerts. Through appearances on MTV2, radio play and constant touring, Linkin Park became one of the most popular hard-rock acts of the early 2000s. It took home a Best Hard Rock Performance Grammy in 2002 for its song "Crawling" and a Best Rap/Sung Collaboration Grammy in 2006 for the band's track "Encore/Numb" with rapper Jay-Z.
Only hours before reports of Bennington's death began to surface, the video for the band's song "Talking to Myself" off its recently released seventh studio album, "One More Light," was posted to YouTube.
Bennington's reported suicide follows close on the heels of the recent death of grunge icon Chris Cornell. Cornell also reportedly hung himself while under the influence of medications in mid May. Bennington and Cornell were themselves friends and the Linkin Park singer both wrote an open letter to the Soundgarden frontman after his death and offered a tribute to him during a performance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!".
Bennington, a native of Phoenix, Arizona, was to Samantha Olit from 1996 to 2005. He is survived by his current wife, Talinda Bentley, and his six children.
This post will be updated with further information when available.